In a letter yesterday to her mailing list, Bode (pictured) announced plans to record and release her first album of secular material since 2010's Photograph. The letter said, in part:
"I'm so thrilled to announce that we are in the process of making a new recording! I've collected songs from writers like Irving Berlin and Frank Loesser, Rickie Lee Jones and Gerry Rafferty. I've teamed up with producer and bassist Viktor Krauss, guitarist Matt Munisteri, as well as a few incredible guest musicians who I can't wait to tell you about, to bring these songs to you. Over the next couple of months, I would love to take you all along with me during the recording process. I'll be posting regular updates on our website and on Facebook for you with photos and additional information each week.Bode's most recent recording was 2013's Be Still My Soul, a self-released album of hymns that seems not to have been widely distributed or publicized in the secular market. Longtime StLJN readers and/or Bode fans may recall that after recording two critically acclaimed albums for the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ label in the mid-2000s, the singer was working steadily and seemed poised to break nationally, appearing on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion" a couple of times and venturing outside St. Louis for some limited touring.
If you'd like to support the project, there are a few different ways to get involved. Firstly, we hope you'll make plans to come out and see us in concert sometime soon, or even book us for your next special event. We'll be keeping audiences updated on our progress.
Also, since we are producing this album entirely ourselves, without the support of a record label, we would be grateful for your financial support. To start, you can pre-order a signed copy of the CD for a minimum of $25 (additional donations greatly appreciated!). In addition, each week we'll be posting a new and exclusive opportunity for you to help us complete the project. We have some really exciting offers planned that will allow you to be uniquely involved in this adventure."
However, after a falling out with MAXJAZZ, two subsequent releases in 2008 on the indie label Native Language - The Little Garden and the holiday album A Cold December Night - didn't do much to raise Bode's career profile or attract interest from larger labels. Following the release of Photograph in 2010, in recent years she also has cut back considerably on what was once a very active live performing schedule.
Speaking of performances, Bode's letter also touted some upcoming live shows, and even broke a bit of additional news by announcing that she'll be one of the featured performers at this summer's Whittaker Music Festival, as officially, the festival's lineup is still TBA.
Bode will take the stage to present a free concert at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Wednesday, July 20, and you can find the rest of her upcoming live dates on her website (and on the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar).