The British singer songwriter known as Yola made her first significant stateside impression at the 2016 AmericanaFest in Nashville. She returned the following year and won the Artist of the Year honor at the AMA’s UK counterpart awards.
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Her charisma, her intelligent update of country soul and her astonishing voice made her an instant favorite of music fans and critics. Soon offers to record began flowing in, but the one that seemed to have the greatest potential for reaching a new level was Dan Auerbach and his Easy Eye studio and label in Nashville. The resulting debut LP Walk Through Fire is an exquisite album with classic textures and an unmistakable esthetic. We first spoke with Yola as part of a round-up review of AmericanaFest 2017, so with this in-depth conversation, she becomes the first-ever repeat visitor to The String! Also this hour, a talk with Erika Wollam Nichols, general manager of The Bluebird Cafe and instigator of a new documentary about the famous venue that premieres this week at SXSW.