Songbirds take wing across the Big Sky State

August Lively Times celebrates songbirds, including Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile headlines a concert Aug. 10 at Big Sky Brewing in Missoula. The literate singer-songwriter splits the difference between pop/rock and folksy Americana.

Carlile was born in the small town of Ravensdale, Wash., an isolated community 50 miles from Seattle, and has recorded several albums, including her latest, The Firewatcher’s Daughter – praised as a “bold and welcome addition to her catalogue.” She often collaborates with twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, who wrote or co-wrote a many songs on the new album, adding spot-on harmonies, guitar, bass and percussion.

She’s just one of the singer/songwriters who caught our ears when pulling together all the strands that make up the August issue of Lively Times (on newsstands now). Here are a few others who are winging their way through Montana this month:

Songbirds on the wing

Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient Emmylou Harris brings her distinctive voice and songs to Sandpoint Aug. 6, Missoula Aug. 7, and Gardiner Aug. 25.

Amy Helm
Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers visit Missoula, Big Sky and BozemanPhoto © Lisa MacIntosh

Amy Helm, daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm and singer-songwriter Libby Titus, was just shy of six years old when The Band invited Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Joni Mitchell onstage for their grand finale. With her band, The Handsome Strangers, Helm finds her own voice on a rootsy new album, Let It Rain. Catch her Aug. 11 in Big Sky, Aug. 12 in Missoula and Aug. 13 in Bozeman.

Elle King, on stage Aug. 5 at Magic City Blues in Billings, is also the daughter of a famous father: Saturday Night Live veteran Rob Schneider. She’s “brassy and bigger-than-life, but also raw and vulnerable,” writes Billboard.

Aubrie Sellers, the daughter of Grammy Award-winner and critically acclaimed country singer/songwriter Lee Ann Womack and songwriter Jason Sellers, takes the stage Aug. 5 at the Sweet Pea Festival in Bozeman. She made Rolling Stone Country’s 2015 list of 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know with a “snarky, barbed-wire cross” between her mother and Buddy Miller that she calls “garage-country.”

With big glasses and an even bigger voice, Sarah Potenza (Aug. 18 at the Myrna Loy Center in Helena) shares songs from her new release, Monster. The Rhode Island native is a staple at Nashville’s world-renowned Bluebird Café and recently debuted on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

Liz Longley
Liz Longley performs at the Crown Guitar FestivalPhoto © Alyssa Torrech

Laura Rain, with her band The Caesars, puts an electrified spin on vintage soul Aug. 13 at the Range Riders Museum in Miles City as part of the Confluence concert series – the artist aims to reclaim “the storied Detroit soul music legacy from the ravages of time, neglect, and electronic dance music.”

Liz Longley, who appears Aug. 31 at the Crown Guitar Festival in Bigfork, brings “a sweet, clear, sensitive voice, strong sense of melody and introspective lyrics” to her new self-titled recording, writes American Songwriter.