Artist Spotlight: Lady Cannon

Soft rock outfit Lady Cannon played the recently-opened Hacienda Beer Co. on the East Side Saturday night, doing two sets with a short break in between. Fans and friends scattered the room as they played with elegance, heart, and grace.

Lady Cannon is fronted by vocalist/guitarist Martha Cannon. The current lineup consists of backing vocalists Ellie Jackson and Steph Lippert, guitarist Andrew Trim, upright bassist Barry Paul Clark, cellist Pat Reinholz, and drummer Nick Lang. Their latest album “Fortune’s Darling” came out this past March – their first full-length in seven years. Also available on Bandcamp is their 2016 song “A Bad Man,” which had been made in protest of Governor Scott Walker. Cannon describes their recording process.

“We stockpiled quite a few songs and felt we should go into the studio and document them. We worked with Shane at Howl Street, which was great – we worked with him before. He mixes really well, which is interesting because Shane plays a very different kind of music and records a lot of hardcore and metal bands…but he really did super well by us in our Musicians Against Scott Walker compilation. We ended up with a collection of songs that I sat on for two years because they didn’t make sense together; they were kind of all over the place…there was no cohesive theme. I kept waiting thinking the idea would come to me, and then I got to a point where I felt weighed down by it…and we just put it all together and released it. In my opinion, it’s kind of a confusing album and hard to tell “what genre is this band?” but maybe that’s me being too involved.”

Cannon finds it difficult to classify the sound of her band.

“It’s a little bit shoegaze at times, a little bit rock influenced…I don’t really know. We do a few different things – certainly with the way the instrumentation works we have a noticeable exploration…but with the lyrical approach there’s definitely some consistency. The lyrics are consistently candid storytelling, all non-fiction…like what’s going on in my life right now. That’s like my disclaimer when someone meets me and has romantic interest, it’s like “can you handle songs being written about you?”.”

The band has re-arranged old songs into new manifestation.

“Whiskey Dear was us working with a different set of musicians; my ex-husband was one of them. I actually quit making music for awhile; I didn’t have the best experience with it at my first try. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was difficult to be touring and playing, especially here in Milwaukee people at the time didn’t seem too interested in the kind of thing I was doing.”

Lady Cannon plans to enter the studio again soon to work on a new batch of songs. They play with Rose of the West at the Back Room on November 2nd.

“I’m toying with the idea of releasing singles, especially with my experience of making an album with any sort of identity or piece of feel…that’s not really how I work. I just want to make things that interest me at the time and that challenges me in the moment.”

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