Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 7: Singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh - Throwing Muses, 50 Foot Wave – is 47-years-old today.

Martha Kristin Hersh was born in Atlanta, Georgia on August 7, 1966. She was raised in Newport, Rhode Island. She learned guitar at age nine from her father, and started writing songs soon after.

As a teenager, she formed Throwing Muses in the early 1980s with stepsister Tanya Donelly and other high school friends. She came to prominence in the late 1980s as the leader of the alternative rock group Throwing Muses before launching a solo career emphasizing her acoustic guitar.

Throwing Muses was signed by the British 4AD Records label in 1986 and, after one album, signed a U.S. deal with Sire/Reprise Records in 1987. They began touring around the U.S. and Europe while recording critically acclaimed rock albums, with Hersh writing most of the songs.

Throwing Muses became a trio when Donelly left the group after 1991's The Real Ramona. In 1994, Hersh began an additional career on Sire/Reprise and 4AD as an acoustic solo performer, beginning with Hips and Makers, an album sparely arranged around her vocals, guitar, and a cellist, in contrast to the volatile, electric sound of her band work.

Michael Stipe of R.E.M. made an appearance on this first solo album. After receiving some airplay and major media coverage for Throwing Muses album University in 1995, Hersh moved to Rykodisc for the 1996 Throwing Muses album, Limbo, and her 1998 solo album, Strange Angels.

In order to better control her career and the distribution of her recorded material she created the ThrowingMusic label with husband/manager Billy O'Connell in 1996. This enabled her to co-release certain Hersh-related projects, including an ongoing download subscription service called Works in Progress (WIP) for releases available only through the label's ThrowingMusic website.

In 2001, she released the Sunny Border Blue solo album, on which she again played nearly all instruments. In 2003, she released The Grotto, an acoustic solo album of song sketches with personal lyrics set in Providence, Rhode Island, with Andrew Bird on violin and Howe Gelb on piano. On the same date a self-titled album by her Throwing Muses group was also released, the first since Limbo.

50 Foot Wave
Also in 2003, she formed a hardcore punk-influenced power rock trio called 50 Foot Wave. Her touring appearances and recording efforts in 2004 and 2005 centered around both 50 Foot Wave and her solo career. In January 2007, Hersh released her first solo album in four years, entitled Learn to Sing Like a Star.

Hersh wrote a memoir, titled Rat Girl, published by Penguin Books in August 2010 She is the co-founder of the non-profit, open-source software project for recording artists, CASH Music.

For more about Kristin, visit her Website at –


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