As 2021 was winding down, Houston singer songwriter Trish Cramblet released her third studio album Supernova. She celebrated with a performance at The Continental Club and then took a much needed break.
“I put everything on the backburner a little bit,” says Cramblet, who is ready to get back on stage. She will perform on Saturday, February 5 at Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge where she will be joined by her band The Bad Habits for what she calls her "CD Release 2.0."
Supernova marks the third time that Cramblet has teamed up with Houston musical guru Paul Beebe. “I think it's really serendipitous that I found this person,” she says of her partnership with Beebe.
She first worked with Beebe six years ago on her debut album Ain’t Your Angel. She describes the intense nervousness she felt when entering the studio and how Beebe helped her ease into the recording process and encouraged her along the way, leading her to make her follow up album The Margins.
“It’s been very, very easy. He’s like a little brother to me, a little brother who knows a lot more about music than I do. We just clicked immediately. I feel like I struck a goldmine with this guy because of his disposition and the amount of tricks he has up his sleeve.”
Though she had been singing and writing music her entire life, it wasn’t until she was in her forties that life allotted her some special time to focus on music. As a single mother, Cramblet waited for her son to be at a more independent age before she began taking guitar lessons.
Though waiting to put herself out there has highlighted how ageist society can be, there’s a depth to her songwriting and storytelling that only could have come with age and experience.
“I really don't understand why people put limitations on the arts,” she says. “I definitely have experienced not getting gigs or getting anybody interested in publishing certain stuff because of my appearance or my age. It's the optics. It is so much easier to sell young, hot artists.”
On Supernova Cramblet shows off her effectiveness as a singer and songwriter with each track telling condensed, heartfelt stories. The album as a whole shows off a range of influences as she and her band transition from a more mellow Americana sound to tracks with a more rock and roll edge.
No matter the vibe of the track, Cramblet's strong and engaging voice is constant on Supernova making the album feel like a road trip with a good friend guiding you through the different scenes and landscapes along the way.
“These songs saved me in a way because I wrote everything during the pandemic,” says Cramblet. “I started getting kind of depressed, like everybody else, at different points.” She began taking walks to ease her mind while exploring her thoughts.
“I was bound and determined to be productive during the downtime. I didn't want to waste the opportunity that I was given to think about music as much as I could without burning out too much.”
Cramblet began the recording process with the solemn track “He’s Going Home Today '' written about her father who had passed away three years prior. “I had all these other ideas that I’d been cooking and I was able to flesh them out during the pandemic. That album was a lifeboat for me, it gave me something to think about.”
The same life experience that has made her an effective storyteller also taught Cramblet the importance of asking for help when needed as evidenced by her guest guitar player The Mighty Orq who throws down on the sexy track “All The Good Ones.”
When not focused on music Cramblet has a career in graphic design, a field which has only added to the purposefulness of her songwriting. “It’s all about creating an atmosphere and then telling a story within it,” she describes.
“There's a short amount of time and the melody and the instrumentation is going to set a mood and then you tell a story with that as a backdrop. It’s weird how you can hear just a chord and it's going to make you feel a certain way. I love minor chords and it's because they hurt my heart a little bit. If I'm going to tell a story about something that is painful, it's definitely going to have some minor chords in there.”
Trish Cramblet And The Bad Habits will perform on Saturday, February 5 at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge, 3214 Main, 9 p.m., $8.