Lots of talented people fall in love and start making beautiful music together. But not many of them pull it off like Guy Forsyth and Jeska Bailey. Since becoming coconspirators in life and song, they’ve proven that the whole can indeed be even greater than the sum of its formidable parts. For proof, look no further than Conspirators, releasing July 26 on Forsyth’s Small and Nimble Records label.
On seven powerful originals and five brilliantly chosen covers, Bailey and Forsyth knit their voices together as they’ve knitted their souls, creating a rich fabric of musical textures that gets better with each listen. On their first joint effort, they tap elemental blues, rootsy folk, rockin’ soul and even hints of cabaret and pop, finally soaring toward territory that’s theirs alone. Produced by Matt Smith at his 6 String Ranch in Austin, the album strips this music down to its essence: two incredible voices, augmented only by Forsyth’s master stringwork (or in the case of that fiddle, Hood’s) and occasional foot stomps.
For Forsyth, Conspirators is the latest in a long string of albums. For Bailey, it’s her first recording. But before relocating to Austin and joining her love onstage, she owned a club in her hometown of San Angelo, Texas, and sang in a blues band, in addition to doing acting, voice-over and photography work. In fact, they met when he played a gig at that club. In 2018, they made it official.
Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Forsyth migrated to Austin in 1990, and quickly made his musical mark. He became a regular onstage at Antone’s, formed the Asylum Street Spankers, went solo, formed the Hot Nut Riveters and a blues band, toured the world, won many Austin Music Awards (including 2019 honors for Best Blues/Soul/Funk Band and Best Miscellaneous Instrument-harmonica, and 2018’s Best Male Vocals award) and toured the world some more. He’s also known as one of Austin’s few saw players. Mixing humor, irreverence, devotion and a deep knowledge of musical history, he’s earned his status as one of the city’s top talents — a status he now proudly shares with his favorite partner in, well, everything. As long as it’s legal. Mostly.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Nobody Gonna Bail Me Out”, a song co-authored by Forsyth and his friend George Rarey, who came up with the riff, recorded it and handed the CD off to Forsyth, who found the riff, loved it and wrote the lyrics. Kicking off with Forsyth’s bluesy acoustic guitar and slowbuilding, guttural vocals, the song gains a faster tempo as its main singer shows off his vocal range. Bailey offers honeyed, soulful harmonies, providing a sunny contrast to this gritty down and dirty blues number. The vocals also take the spotlight here, accompanying little more than the National Reso-rocket resonator guitar and footstomps.
“It’s a hard blues song,” said Forsyth “The realization that as much as we desire love, connection and community we are in fact alone. This is the song of an unfortunately large demographic, the theme song for those in despair. Everyone in the world at some point comes to the realization that they are alone, what happens then is character.”
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey release Conspirators July 26. Check and tour dates below:
July 5-7 – Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
July 11 – The Fawkner, Brooklyn, New York
July 13 – Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn, New York (with Bryan Dunn)
July 20 – Sam’s Burger Joint, San Antonio, Texas (Guy Forsyth Band; Forsyth & Bailey opening)
July 26 – The Bugle Boy, La Grange, Texas
July 27 – The Post at River East, Fort Worth, Texas
July 30 – Saxon Pub, Austin, Texas
Oct. 11 – Welcome Home Fest, Kerrville, Texas