• Creative Workforce Fellowship
  • Brite Winter 2015 Artist Spotlight: Uno Lady

    Come to Brite Winter Festival February 21, 2015 in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood
    By Rachel Hunt, CellarDoor – “
    One of the first times that I remember watching Uno Lady perform was at Now That’s Class in 2010. I fondly recall the Tacocat EP release show with Christa Ebert, Uno Lady as she is known to the audience, doing a quick costume change in the bathroom behind doors that would not latch, shuffling around the tight space to re-emerge as her alter-ego.

    Taking her place on stage, Uno Lady appears as a priestess addressing clergy members, tucked behind a technology-laced altar, she sings a doctrine that Clevelanders can readily get behind. Watching her perform live is an entrancing experience. Her operatic register and looping melodies reach deep into the crowd’s bones, sending goose bumps pleasurably coursing through the skin (this is an actual phenomenon).

    Uno Lady has been hard at work since I saw her last. She released Amateur Hour in October at The Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern, one of the first performers to christen the rejuvenated venue. The album was immediately appealing to me, from the first time I heard “5 Minute Guided Meditation” broadcast over college radio airwaves. The guided meditation sounds similar to calming recitations by Laurie Anderson on Big Science; poignant in its delivery and laugh out loud funny in content.

    Part of the draw of Uno Lady is her raw power and confidence. In a music scene disproportionately represented by men, Uno Lady has always acted as a sole experimental female musician since 2007, a time when even less women were making music in Cleveland (or so it seems to me.) She embodies a metaphorical beacon of light to other women in the community. Ebert retains her feminine posture and graceful delivery throughout the new record while still commanding attention with each hook and pun-filled refrain.

    Here are a few questions we were able to ask her before her performance at Brite Winter Fest:

    Uno Lady is experimental in nature and a bit unorthodox considering how most Top 40 music is made. How do you manage to keep your music accessible for listeners despite it being unconventional in its conception?

    That is a good question to which I have a confusing answer for: a person listening was an unintended, yet welcome, consequence that has helped shape how I write. I am wholeheartedly flattered people listen and I’m learning the musical hoops to becoming more accessible: getting a website, figuring out how to be on iTunes, putting out records.  When I first started recording, I did not consider I would be playing shows a year later. My goal was shortsighted and didn’t go beyond recording for fun.

    What artists have inspired you to take the route you have in your music?

    Roy Orbison, Laurie Anderson, DEVO, earlier Coco Rosie to name a few.

    You recently received a Prestigious Workforce Fellowship in 2014 that funded the making of “Amateur Hour”. Did earning the fellowship change the way you approached the writing of the record or making music?

    Photo by Diana Hlywiak
    Photo by Diana Hlywiak

    I am so grateful for the fellowship. It will change my life for the better for many years to come. It reaffirmed I should make music and that I should take the time to develop my skills. It allowed me to buy things I needed to complete recordings. Literally everything I was using was slightly broken. It also allowed me to get help and pay people with fair wages rather than lasagna. I have used home cooking as a form of currency in the past.

    The fellowship also gave me access to tools I did not have prior. There were these Creative Capital seminars that have tips on marketing, etc. It helped me step up my game in areas I am modest about. I did spend 90% of the funds within Cuyahoga County, as promised. All three pieces of my fellowship application are online. I did that to be transparent with my plan and so people could see an example of a fellowship application in case they wanted to apply. I am in the process of finishing my final fellowship report. I’ll publish the results on my website when I am finished.

    How do you come up with the names for your songs?

    All sorts of ways! Sometimes they name themselves: they describe the weird feelings the sound provokes i.e. “Disney Movie on Acid,” or can repeat a lyric i.e. “Day Drinking”; sometimes they have a revolving door of names. What was now “Dear Wes Anderson, You Should Like This Song” was “Temporary Waltz”, and in some cases, I don’t care about the name, want to get it over with and focus on the lyrics.

    You are not a classically trained vocalist, yet you have an amazing voice that you use as a tool to make music. Was it ever intimidating for you to perform live, knowing that you may have not had the same experience as your peers?
    Thanks for the kind words! Performing is intimidating for sure. I get butterflies in my stomach every show. I’m on display, almost asking for criticism as I share my feelings put to song. It can make you feel really vulnerable, however, I know it is impossible to grow by loitering in my comfort zone. In order to gain new knowledge and develop as a human being, you have to challenge yourself. I can’t allow anxiety to dictate my capabilities.

    Although I am not trained I have probably spent thousands of hours singing. I may not know how to sight-read or which note is C, but I do have strong muscle memory. I want to continue to grow musically so with the last bit of fellowship funds I secured some lessons.

    How were you able to teach yourself what sounds you were able to make?

    I have always been a little bit of a parrot and mimicked sounds.

    Tell me a little bit about your recent tour with Delaney Davidson. Why wait as long as you did to tour? What took you to Wisconsin and Minnesota specifically?

    I met Delaney at an international one-man-band festival in Denver, CO, on my first tour in 2009. This was, I believe, his ninth trip to the US. He contacted me to see if I wanted to join him for this part of his visit. He was all over the place prior to the Midwest.

    We ended up in Wisconsin and Minnesota because the goal was to be around Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on Halloween for a songwriting event called “Dark Songs.” Located at the Holiday Music Motel, the event invites select musicians to stay for a week, be randomly paired into songwriting groups, and record and perform what was created. It was amazing. I am so stoked I was invited. It was the first time in my life I spent a whole week focused only on music – not working, not going to school – working on my own missions rather than working for others. It was surreal.

    Regarding the hiatus – Shortly after the 2009 tour, I received a full scholarship to finish school. I had to reshuffle my priorities for an amazing academic opportunity, and I missed making music daily. In 2012, I graduated top of my class with an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and was able to finish my Masters degree of Public Administration in May 2013. I started working full-time only three days after graduating. I applied for the fellowship July of 2013, was named a 2014 fellow, and here we are today. Time flies! I may have not been touring but I sure as heck was busy! Also, planning and booking a tour is a lot of work and takes months to do. Like other things, it just kept getting put on the back burner because I was so busy.

    What is the most difficult part of being an artist, in your opinion?

    Finding time!  Making art a priority when you are an adult who has bills to pay and has to work full-time in a world that undervalues creativity.  It is easy for it to be placed on a back burner – but it is important to remind yourself (myself) that if you are an artistic person, you have to nurture that side of you. It’s a necessary form of meditation. And when you are true to that part of you, it can help you become a better person and do a better job in other aspects of your life. I have to remind myself that all the time.”

    FULL ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW

     

  • Press
  • Band of the Week: Uno Lady

    Straight Outta the Living Room: Uno Lady, who counts Roy Orbison, Laurie Anderson, Freddie Mercury, Mary Ford… as her influences, played her first show at Pat’s in the Flats in 2007 and has been a steady force on the local scene ever since. “I went from recording in my living room with no plans beyond that, to being asked to play shows, and slowly learned how to perform live,” she says.
    unolady

    Lotsa Loops:
    Since she manipulates her upper register voice by sampling it and mixing it with a number of loops, the live show has been a tricky proposition…. “There have been a good amount of developments as well as simplifications,” she says when asked about the live performance. “My genius friend Ian Charnas is helping me construct a new podium out of a vintage suitcase. In addition, to a bunch of new songs, I have a new loop pedal that has some fancy buttons. Other than that, I like to keep it simple: My voice, a loop pedal, and a mixer.”

    Why You Should Hear Her:
    Her new album, Amateur Hour, commences with “Dear Wes Anderson (You should Hear This Song),” an atmospheric tune characterized by soft vocals that make it sound like a veritable choir is singing. It’s one of the more unique albums you’ll ever hear. “I wanted to take unfinished songs that were worth finishing, re-record and fine tune them, and couple those with a new material,” she says of the new album. “It is meant to be a sort of wrap up, an ending of a chapter. Another thing I am excited about — this is the first Uno Lady release featuring other artists. I was lucky enough to have the Cross Brothers [from the local indie rock group Little Bighorn] lend their musical talents on a few of the tracks.”
  • Press
  • One-person bands, comedy at Tambourine Lounge

    Greenbay Press Gazette – “The Tambourine Lounge at the Holiday Music Motel hosts a pair of unique house shows in the next week… Delaney Davidson and Uno Lady perform separately as a one-man and one-woman band at 7 p.m. Oct. 22.

    Although a native of New Zealand, Davidson is truly more of a citizen of the world. In constant motion, Davidson’s touring schedule is relentlessly nonstop, including several June appearances in Sturgeon Bay for Steel Bridge Songfest. It’s a mystery where he finds the time to continue to produce a growing arsenal of albums, artwork and cinematic music videos.Tambourinesm

    Winner of the New Zealand Music Award (its version of a Grammy Award) for Best Country Album in 2013, Davidson’s latest release, “Swim Down Low,” features co-writing credits with Victoria Williams, Eric McFadden and James Hall from Steel Bridge Songfest’s collaborative songwriting “Construction Zone.” Known worldwide as a premier one-man band, Davidson is said to be more like a one-man machine in concert and in the studio.

    Uno Lady, aka Christa Ebert of Cleveland, creates her shockingly great variety of grooves, colors and styles using nothing more than her voice, a looper, small mixer and microphone. She not only makes this multi-dimensional sound in a studio a multitude of individual tracks for layering (as heard on her recent release, “Amateur Hour”), she also creates that sound live. Uno Lady is a one-woman choir, with a high, clear voice that she accompanies with more of her own voice, prerecorded on tapes and played and looped as she performs.”

    Full article

  • Press
  • Eleven new songwriters set for Holiday’s ‘Dark Songs

    Green Bay Press Gazette – The annual “Dark Songs” songwriting and concert event hosted by the Holiday Music Motel will have 11 additions of “fresh blood” this year.

    “Dark Songs” gathers songwriters and musicians together at the motel to collaboratively write songs with a theme appropriate for Halloween or other dark, morbid ideas, then record and perform them live…. this will be their first experience with collaboratively writing, recording and performing in one of the motel’s fully immersive, weeklong songwriting marathons.

    Christa Ebert of Cleveland, aka Uno Lady, will be an eclectic addition with her looping talents and vocal abilities, while Julia McConahay of Madison will provide vocals and a wide range of violin stylings. …Bass player Patrick Kelly of Atlanta got involved on the recommendation of fellow Atlantan rocker James Hall, one of The Holiday’s most dedicated songwriting event attendees….

    Other rookie participants are Sugar Ransom of Milwaukee, Susan Howe of Appleton and Barrett Tasky of Chicago, all of whom possess a wide range of talents that will add to the darkly themed “Dark Songs” stew. Tasky, who is proficient at a multitude of instruments, will also run one of the four operational studios.

    This year’s “Dark Songs” concerts take place at Third Avenue Playhouse, 239 N. Third Ave., Sturgeon Bay. The Oct. 31 show starts at 10:30 p.m., immediately follows TAP’s 7:30 screening of “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and the second concert is at 7 p.m. Nov. 1. Tickets are $5 for each. For more information, go to www.holidaymusicmotel.com/darksongs.

    Full article

  • Creative Workforce Fellowship
  • Uno Lady’s Unique Music Released On Record at the New Euclid Tavern

    UnoLady1
    By Anastasia Pantsios

    By Anastasia Pantsios, COOL Cleveland“Christa Ebert calls herself Uno Lady when she performs, a hint that she creates all her music by herself using only her voice as the raw material. With just a microphone and a mixer that loops her vocals, she produces clouds of lush, layered sound that refer to familiar pop themes and lyrics but utterly transform them. Jaunty melodies and catchy phrases pile up into towering edifices that are startling in their grandeur, considering their modest building blocks.

    It’s hard to even tell if she has a highly trained voice or the girlish voice of an engagingly uncertain amateur; her delivery can be in turn knowing and wide-eyed, while she alternately buries a phrase by multiplying it or strips away everything to lay it bare in all its vulnerable nakedness.

    Ebert released a tape almost exactly five years ago called I Really Like Genetics But I’d Rather Have a Good Time, followed by Tacocat in 2010.Back then she was in the early stages of exploring the striking and confident music she makes now. She hasn’t been too speedy about getting a new release out because she’s been business with work and school, like many of us. But when she landed a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, it gave her the wherewithal to synthesize her evolving ideas into a new recording, a full-length album (available in vinyl and CD) called Amateur Hour.

    She says, ‘If it wasn’t for the fellowship, this would have taken another 10 years to make. Instead I am already working on the planning stages for the next record.’

    That is a reason to rejoice. Meanwhile, she’ll celebrate the release of Amateur Hour at the Euclid Tavern at a show also featuring New Zealand country singer/songwriter Delaney Davidson and Cleveland surf/garage rockers the Shale Satans. ”

    Full article

  • Creative Workforce Fellowship
  • Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern to host CD release party for unique Cleveland singer Uno Lady

    Photo by Ryan Poorman
    Photo by Ryan Poorman

    By Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer – “Usually, the music lessons come before the records — and the shows.

    Not in the case of Uno Lady, aka Christa Ebert, one of the most unique talents to emerge in the Cleveland music scene in the last five years.

    Uno Lady is a vocalist – and then some. She’s a one-woman choir, with a beautiful high clear voice that she accompanies with more of her own voice, prerecorded on tapes and played and looped as she performs live….

    The album even contains some conventional instrumentation, with guitars and drums from brothers Nick and Tony Cross, of Little Bighorn.

    On Saturday, Ebert will celebrate the release of “Amateur Hour” with a show at the new Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern, with Delaney Davidson and Shale Satans. Unlike her past releases, which are now available as free downloads on her site (unolady.com), it’s available on both vinyl, pressed at Cleveland’s own Gotta Groove Records, and CDs from Parma’s A to Z Audio.”

    Full article

  • Press
  • Press kit- EPK

    Uno Lady one-sheetsm
    click photo for pdf of press kit

     AmateurHour

     

     

     

     

    PRAISE

     

    [Amateur Hour is] one of the more unique albums you’ll ever hear.—  Cleveland Scene

    Uno Lady, aka Christa Ebert, one of the most unique talents to emerge in the Cleveland  music scene.…Uno Lady is  a  vocalist – and then some. She’s a one-woman choir, with a beautiful high clear voice that she accompanies with more of her own voice.   —  The Plain Dealer

    With just a microphone and a mixer that loops her vocals, she produces clouds of lush, layered sound that refer to familiar pop themes and lyrics but utterly transform them. Jaunty melodies and catchy phrases pile up into towering edifices that are startling in their grandeur, considering their modest building blocks. — COOL Cleveland

    Uno Lady…creates her shockingly great variety of grooves, colors and styles using nothing more than her voice, a looper, small mixer and microphone. She not only makes this multi-dimensional sound in a studio a multitude of individual tracks for layering ….she also creates that sound live  — Greenbay Gazette

    Layers upon layers of beautiful singing – sometimes comforting, sometimes unnerving – intertwined like DNA, drenched in fuzz and reverb, combine to form songs that feel as though the actual act of Christa Ebert’s singing is an event that takes place entirely outside of time.— Cleveland Scene

    One case in point, and the performer who veered most off the conventional path, was Cleveland’s Christa Ebert, in the guise of Uno Lady. Ebert’s performance was all vocals, and a few snippets of found audio, looped and wrapped into and around themselves and drenched in reverb and sometimes fuzz or chorus. It recalled the giant, dramatic sounds of bands like This Mortal Coil or Cocteau Twins: dreamy, psychedelic and sparse. — Heyreverb.com

     

    When Christa Ebert started her Uno Lady project in 2007,

    she produced a music so starkly unique that she rose quickly to acclaim and respect in Cleveland, OH’s music scene. Using a digital looping device, she sang, hummed and cooed layers of recursive, ethereal dream-harmonies, over which she finally sang the song’s lyrics, all in a voice that could turn on a dime from saucy to operatic.

    Her local treasure status was cemented in 2009 when Cleveland Scene Magazine named her both a Band to Watch and Cleveland’s Best Female Vocalist, calling her music “stunning and unearthly,” and saying that “the actual act of Christa Ebert’s singing is an event that takes place entirely outside of time.”  She was also selected that year to play WRUW FM’s Studio-A-Rama festival, and at the First International One Man Band Festival in Denver, CO.

    Ebert released the full-length cassette/digital LP I Really Like Genetics but I’d Rather Have a Good Time in 2009 and the 7” “Tacocat” in 2010. Having won a prestigious Creative Workforce Fellowship from Northeast Ohio’s Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in 2014, Ebert used the infusion of funds to finance her most impressive sounding release yet, Amateur Hour. The title would seem puzzlingly inapt, but the self-taught Ebert says that she so named it because “this is the last recording of me acting like I know what I’m doing. I’ll soon be taking various lessons to improve my music.”

    That’s as may be, but Amateur Hour is a high water mark for a confident, headstrong vocalist/songwriter who seems to level up with every endeavor—the crispness of the recording renders every skein of Ebert’s voicings audible with unprecedented and welcome clarity, showing off her strong, instinctive gifts for arrangement and lyric writing. The album even contains, for the first time on an Uno Lady recording, conventional instruments, the guitars and drums of brothers Nick and Tony Cross, from Cleveland’s rakish and superb country-rockers Little Bighorn. And atop all that, Ebert’s broadening stylistically, as well—“You’re No Fangtooth” is an inspired, Elephant Six-esque pop gem, while the eerie “Change in my Pocket” recalls the early electronic experiments of Raymond Scott. And the eccentric, whimsical humor Ebert’s long brought to bear on her work finds a marvelous outlet in the frankly adorable “Bikini Weeding.”

    Side A
    1. Dear Wes Anderson, You Should Like This Song
    2. You’re No Fangtooth
    3. End of Time
    4. Greater than Gold
    5. Bikini Weeding

    Side B
    1. Night Ride
    2. Back in the Flip Days
    3. Change in my Pocket
    4. Five Minute Meditation

     

    For booking and press inquires,
    contact Christa Ebert:
    unoladymusic@gmail.com
    216-408-4768
    unolady.com
    facebook.com/unoladymusic
    soundcloud.com/unolady