Photo by Jeremy Cowart
The way the world knew her got nothin to do with her now...
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LOST AND FOUND
COME INTO THE CIRCLE
(WITH THIS OTHER LIFE)
The Way the world knew her
Full length studio album - Coming January 2024
Photo by Jeremy Cowart
The Way The World Knew Her, songwriter-singer Meg Gehman’s national debut album, is a deeply soulful Americana smorgasbord. Recorded at the Studio Nashville, the home studio of the Wood Brothers, and engineered by studio co-owner Brook Sutton, The Way The World Knew Her was produced by The Wood Brothers’ Jano Rix, who also plays keys, with Ted Pecchio on bass, Derrek Phillips on drums, JD Simo on guitar, and the background vocal talent of Maureen Murphy and Will Merrell. Featuring 12 original songs plus a soulful re-imagining of the Allen Toussaint classic “Yes We Can Can”, The Way The World Knew Her is a confluence of songs that are personal, poetic, hopeful, triumphant and relatable with stellar musicianship, production and lots of infectious groove.
In the title track, Gehman allows a glimpse into the way the world once knew her in the lines, "She poured out all the bottles/Tries to walk without a crutch/She knows there’s peace in there somewhere/She can almost touch." In the heart-twisting ballad, "The Bed’s Still Warm", Gehman brings a familiar pang to the gut of anyone who’s lost the love of their life. “Chantel" shows a playful side as Gehman and Murphy sing a playground song from Gehman’s childhood, with Gehman painting a picture of a friendship between two young girls that pays no mind to race.
Meg Gehman has been on a songwriting journey for over 30 years, writing, as she puts it, “to tell the world how much love I have to give”. Every song she writes is a brick in the path of her life - either as a marker for what’s been, or a vision for what’s to come. In the Summer of 2021 she took a trip to Nashville to record a 5-song EP. Those Nashville sessions completely changed Gehman's experience of what was possible.
Meg Gehman was raised in NYC and New Rochelle, NY, and made her earliest bones in school and church-based productions, armed with an early education on the importance of pitch and harmony from her father, a top-tenor barbershop singer. Gehman is also an actor, and has performed in several musical- and black-box theatre productions over the years.
Gehman started making a name for herself as a singing waitress on the lower east side of Manhattan (while working by day as a Foster Care Social Worker in Brooklyn). She also strung together several cabaret shows around the city. But working at this pace fueled Gehman’s drug and alcohol use and she knew she needed to leave NYC to get her head straight.
Around 1990, Gehman headed upstate to Rochester, NY, where she’d gone to college. She got clean, earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling and began writing songs. She became a Junior High School Counselor (where she remained for 27 years) and started a very successful (12 year run!) cover band, Meg and The Clams. In addition to fronting and singing, Gehman discovered that she really loved writing, so she put together, performed and recorded with several Rochester-based original bands.
In 2019-2020, amidst the sea of changes everyone was going through during the pandemic - like navigating the complete reorganization of how we live our lives and leaning into the opportunity to pull inward and take stock - Gehman took an early retirement from the school system, hunkered down as a single person for the first time in her life, did a ton of therapy and deep healing, and shifted her foci to becoming a full time private practice counselor AND doubling down on her commitment to songwriting and making the music she felt she HAD to make. This fruitful time of creativity and discovery started to feel different - almost guided- as if a new path forward was being created, so Gehman decided to go to Nashville to make a record and give these songs the justice they deserved with the best of the best.
In the Nashville studio, Gehman gave the musicians full freedom to create. Stepping into the vocal booth for that first take, she was instantly taken with the soul and groove of this band, and was inspired to sing these songs from a place of deep emotion, honesty and gratitude. The result was the first half of The Way The World Knew Her, a group of songs created in this organic, authentic way. The 5 song EP became a 6 song EP when the whole crew agreed to stay late and honor her last-minute request to record Toussaint’s, “Yes We Can Can”. "It was the last song we recorded, and by then we were in full-on love-fest mode. You can hear that in every second of it. I was hooked and knew I had to live in this community."
So Gehman blew up her life, pulled up her roots of 32 years, said a lot of hard and tearful goodbyes, and moved to Nashville on New Year’s eve as 2022 was dawning. Not long after that, Gehman decided to extend the EP to a full length album, insisting on the same players, and bringing in Murphy and Merrell on BGVs.
Gehman’s The Way The World Knew Her isn’t her first album, it’s something more. It’s Meg Gehman emerging from a darkness, letting us all know that it’s OK to be human; to fuck up, to feel things, to need people. It’s Gehman finally stepping into who she was always meant to be. It’s the next few bricks on her path, and that path is heading toward the light.
Because we need the light. Especially now.