JPR Live Session: Paula Cole
On Friday, August 6th at Noon, JPR will broadcast a JPR Live Session (from afar) with Paula Cole on Open Air.
Paula Cole has never been afraid of speaking complex truths. With a musical catalog defined by honest and deeply personal lyrics carried by her powerful, radiant voice, Cole has always had a gift for discerning the underlying humanity in stories from her own life as well as those around her, and channeling those emotional elements into captivating music.
This time around, on American Quilt - her eleventh album - she has restricted her own writing to one composition, the lyrically and sonically multilayered “Hidden in Plain Sight (I Dream).” “I had heard some historical stories regarding slave quilts, so I did some research and composed ‘Hidden in Plain Sight,’” Cole explains. “It is said that women artists created clues and secrets within their quilts and hung them in plain sight for other slaves seeking to flee to the Underground Railroad. The quilts served as education, guidance for the journey. And it was women’s work, so nobody paid any attention – and it was a radical act!”
By seeking to elevate the story of marginalized communities from the past and uncover the deeper role their traditions played in America’s story, “Hidden in Plain Sight” conveys something of a statement of purpose for American Quilt. And it should come as no surprise that Cole was drawn to the inherently subversive aspects of the story, given Cole’s propensity as an artist to give voice to acts of humble, everyday revolution.
Listen Friday, August 6th at Noon for a JPR Live Session (from afar) with Paula Cole on JPR's Rhythm & News Service. To listen online, click the orange 'Play' button at the top of the page and select "Rhythm & News." Or grab the JPR Live Sessions podcast at Spotify, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts.