Open Your Eyes, Ears to Kristen Englenz

Nashville-via-Atlanta singer-songwriter Kristen Englenz’s new album Ingénue features more than just the sorts of rich story-songs that’ve wowed listeners over the years around East Nashville and at Eddie’s Attic, where she’ll perform an album release show on March 6. There are plenty of songs fitting that description, including “Rebound” and “Got Me with Goodbye,” but the real selling point is “Pray for Rain,” a soul-stirring tune performed with the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama.

The song itself would get a round of applause at any listening room in any music-crazed city. Yet we’re not just dealing with strong lyrics delivered by an emotive storyteller. Instead, this is about a talent with the drive to get her name out there, working as an equal with roots music legends.

While the Blind Boys of Alabama have collaborated with artists over the years, they seem more selective about collaborators than Iggy Pop, Emmylou Harris and others who are extremely generous with their time. Which is to say that Englenz’s legendary special guests must think highly of her potential.

Photo by Eric Englert.