Premiere: “Black Tea, Red Wine,” by Mouths of Babes
Mouths of Babes is the soul-infused folk duo of bassist/vocalist Ingrid Elizabeth and guitarist/vocalist Ty Greenstein.
The two each spent over a decade on the folk circuit (in Coyote Grace and Girlyman, respectively), touring far and wide and sharing the stage with genre stalwarts like the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams, among others, before getting married and launching their new project.
Following a debut EP, Faith & Fumes, Mouths of Babes received accolades from the likes of MTV.com and the Chicago Tribune, and is currently gearing up to release their first full-length in January, 2017. Titled Brighter in the Dark, the album combines their love of romance, storytelling, and vocal harmonies in an mix of ballads, smoky blues, and dances. Friends and expert musicians including members of Girlyman and Coyote Grace, Birds of Chicago, Mai Bloomfield (Jason Mraz), and Tania Elizabeth (Avett Brothers, The Duhks) were brought in to sessions at Cotati, California’s Prairie Sun Studios to provide instrumentation including pedal steel, hammond organ, piano, and strings.
Photo provided by www.shamelessphoto.com
The track “Black Tea, Red Wine” was penned by Ingrid Elizabeth while living in the wine-lovers paradise of Sonoma County, California. “A friend of mine once marveled over ‘that magical hour when coffee time turns to beer time.’ Although I don’t partake in those beverages, I instantly knew my next song title. I know that ‘magical hour’ very well—the transition from tea to wine.” she says. “It was also the first time I’d been single and living on my own in many years, which was equal parts liberating and lonely. Musically, I wanted to capture the arc of a day in the life as it was then, from sleepy slow morning, through caffeinated puttering afternoon, to moony wine-soaked evening.”
In the studio, Mouths of Babes used the track as an opportunity to experiment with different instruments and sounds. Though Ingrid Elizabeth typically writes songs on ukulele, and primarily plays upright bass, she traded them in for a 1960 Fender Precision electric bass. For her part, Greenstein recorded on a hollow-body 1970s Gibson ES-150D. The result is a warm, country groove that perfectly builds off a single guitar line that signals those lonely vibes into a full-bodied self-assured conclusion.
Check out “Black Tea, Red Wine” now and keep your ears out for Brighter in the Dark in 2017.