Oklahoma City's Marcy Priest is shifting from the studio to the stage as she prepares the release of "Awake," a seven-track debut of original songs.
The collection of radio-ready soft rock and jazz is a platform for her to put her voice upfront through various roles, whether it's featured in the crunching rock of "Never Ending"; the soft, spiritual gospel of "Grace"; the smoky, jazz-fueled "New Name"; or even the soul-siren turn she takes in "Enough."
The album follows Priest's attempt seven years ago to start a music career in Nashville, Tenn. " an effort interrupted by fate.
"I barely sunk my feet in Nashville and then Sept. 11 happened," Priest said. "I had all the contacts, all the big plans, but no one was calling me back. The music industry was just a big question mark and I felt awkward walking around with my demo saying, 'Oh, please, listen!' all while there is a national tragedy going on."
After three months in Nashville, she returned to OKC and decided to focus on sculpting her skills as a studio vocalist. Other bands have tapped her for guest spots on albums, and she has recorded commercial jingles and performed some karaoke.
"I don't regret, at all, that time," she said. "I grew so much as a musician and grew from being in the studio and working with other artists. I'd developed these relationships while working on their projects and they kept encouraging me. Everything has aligned for this album."
Priest will perform 8 p.m. Tuesday at the UCO Jazz Lab, 100 E. Fifth in Edmond. Tickets are $7. "Charles Martin