When I was watching Season 2 of American Idol, and enjoying Vanessa Olivarez (12th place - she was the 1st finalist eliminated, and I was angry about that), I never in a million years would have imagined that I'd be rediscovering her music ten years later. But, as I was researching music for these two weeks of American Idol tribute, I did just that.
As lead vocalist (and harpsichordist) of Granville Automatic, Vanessa (along with Elizabeth Elkins) makes classic country music, with a warm southern feeling and a respect for history, musical and otherwise. This song is lighthearted, and seems like it could have been written 75 years ago, or 2 weeks ago, sounding both fresh and classic.
Update (29 July 2020) - the original video is gone. Here's a Sun Studio session version of the song instead.
Oh, the name of the band? It's a 19th century typewriter. Vanessa is a collector. Who knew?
Update (10 Dec 2013): The duo finally made an official video for this song. And CMT featured it on their front page, right here. Of course, they're 11 months behind us. Here's the new video. It's a lot of fun.
Currently, the duo is working on a project - a crusade, almost - to keep (American) Civil War stories fresh. This song, their latest, was written about a battle known as the Gettysburg of the West, in a town south of Santa Fe, New Mexico - Glorieta Pass, if you want to look it up. This project is a partnership with the Civil War Trust, who are concerned with preserving these classic, forgotten sites and protecting them from urban development. I encourage you to go here and read more about their quest as it develops. It's a really interesting read. The song itself is deep in history, with a quiet, classic country feel.
And, since this is an American Idol week post, here is Vanessa, singing "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes. Back then, her hair was red, and her voice was huge. Her voice still is huge, but she was already showing the raw talent that she would use for a greater good later.