Over the past three decades Natalie Zoe has worn many hats as she participated whole-heartedly in Austin’s celebrated music scene. In the 70’s she began her career as an award-winning singer-songwriter. Natalie showcased her passionate vocals and brazen guitar skills in the 80’s fronting several blues rock bands, and in 1987, she added motherhood to her growing list of accomplishments. The early 90’s found Natalie touring as a back-up vocalist for Don Henley. Her good friend Stephen Bruton recommended her to Henley for a one-time Austin show that turned into an extended and unforgettable professional experience. Over the years Natalie has shared the stage as an opener and sang back-up for an endless list of artists including Warren Zevon, Lucinda Williams, Muddy Waters, Michelle Shocked, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, the celebrated Storyville, and Ian Moore, to name a few. Long time friend and Grammy-nominated musician Marcia Ball says, “She was here on the ground floor (of Austin’s music scene). She has tried to break away from the business, but the music always grabs her back. I think she is meant to do it.”
Natalie released her anticipated debut CD, Never To Old to Swing on her own label, Mozo Records. This release is a return to her roots. Natalie renovates some of her favorite jazz classics and originals, and delivers them with all of the dynamic and soul gathered from her years on the road with so many great players. The format varies from a piano and upright bass accompaniment to a big band presentation, always featuring the best players in Austin. “Besides my originals, I chose classic songs that present the stories and emotions that move my soul. These are songs I wish I had written,” smiles Natalie. “I’ve been playing these songs for years, and they can still make me cry.”
Mozo Records’ first release in 1997 was the CD single, Fountain of Tears, a song written by Natalie and performed by The Alliance featuring Natalie, Courtney Audain (Fuze, Papa Mali & the Instagators), Malford Milligan (formerly of Storyville), Michael Moran (the Recliners) and Sean McCarthy and David Robinson (both from the Ugly Americans, Scabs). Natalie was inspired to write the song after seeing the horrific footage of the victims in the Oklahoma City bombing . Natalie and friends organized an effort to sell and distribute the CD regionally with 70% of the proceeds going to the victims of the bombing.
Natalie has come a long way since winning her first award in 1977 as Best Solo Performer in Austin. Her Wild Tonight won Best Tape Release in 1993 at the Austin Chronicle Music Awards. That year she enjoyed being the first local artist to not only win an Austin Music Award but to also be nominated in three additional categories: Best Female Vocalist, Best Producer (the first woman to be nominated in this category), and Best Song. In 1997, Natalie placed in the categories of Best Singer-Songwriter, Best Single (Fountain of Tears), Best Female Vocals and Song of the Year.
Natalie looks forward to touring regionally in the future. “Now that my daughter is a teenager, I want to do music full time again,” laughs Natalie with a gleam in her eye. Natalie is as positive, enthusiastic, and inspired as she was 30 years ago. Her freshness and innocence are matched with wisdom and experience. One listen to Natalie’s fine release and a visit to her exciting live performance are all the proof you’ll need.
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