The Close

Americana trio The Close combines the Nashville-honed talents of Shannon Walker, Lori J. Rowton, and James McKinney. Each member brings powerful singing and songwriting to the table, which help The Close craft songs that engage audiences with deep emotions carried by lush harmonies.

Their second release and first full-length album is called Orbit. The band has been pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction (via streaming) they’ve seen for a number of the songs. “We made the album kind of old school; we wanted to put it in order and kind of take you on a ride,” says Lori.

“You can easily listen to it and feel empowered,” says James. Shannon adds, “There’s matters of the heart, there’s life experiences…kind of a call to action…” Overall, the record reflects the combined experience of artists who have spent years in the trenches.

“This group’s been really a long time coming,” says Lori, “because we’ve all been in different projects…We’re songwriters and we’ve had our own separate groups over the years.” She continues, “But this is our end-all, kind of super-group if you will. There’s nobody in the world I would rather do music with than these two guys.” The Close came together in 2018 and started playing out the following year.

Although each of the members and various combinations of them had accumulated a lot of songs over the years, when they formed The Close, they built the act of writing together as a trio right into their business plan, scheduling quarterly writing retreats, to guarantee that they would stop all their other music busy-ness and focus on writing at least one good new song each time. “And sometimes we come home with three or four,” Lori adds.

Shannon mentions another benefit of this unified writing approach. “Since we’ve gotten together…I’ve been able to actually experiment. Because I know what James is going to bring to the table. I know what Lori’s gonna bring to the table. It’s opened my mind up to be able to do things I might not normally do.”

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By Dan Walsh