It’s hard to grow up just outside of Memphis, Tennessee, and not develop a deep love for music.
This is the case for rising Americana songstress Bailey Bigger, born and raised in Marion, Arkansas, which is about 15 minutes from Memphis. By the age of 14, Bigger was already performing in the famed music city, and has since gone on to share stages and festival lineups with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Sierra Ferrell, Sturgill Simpson, and many more.
Bigger won “Memphis’ Best Song of 2017” for her original song, “Wildflower,” and has continued to gain critical acclaim from several Memphis-based publications, including Memphis Magazine and The Commercial Appeal. Her debut album, Coyote Red, was released in March of 2022 via Madjack Records, and their continued collaboration brings us her latest single, “Arkansas is Nice,” which officially hits streaming services tomorrow, April 14th.
The track opens with a rootsy percussive groove and easy-on-the-ear instrumentals as Bigger reflects on her innate comfort for home. Right away you get a feel for her vintage, timeless sound. She serenades her home state and listeners alike with delicate harmonies of “Oh, I’m lazy / I’m a fool / I’m a fool for ya / I’m so crazy for staying home.”
It’s one of those special songs that captures feelings of fear, curiosity, and longing, all rolled up into a sense of wonder that can be lost with time.
There’s an emotional depth to Bigger’s lyrics that are further developed by the tremendous production and musical foundation. Bruce Watson, lead guitarist of Foreigner, sings her praises, saying, “Bailey pours her soul into her songwriting and the results are stunning. Great songs combined with a beautiful distinctive voice, this is something really special.”
“Arkansas Is Nice” was originally written and recorded by fellow Madjack labelmate, Mark Edgar Stuart, but the songwriter kindly gifted the song to Bigger. He not only plays bass on this new version, but also produced it. It’s also a family affair, as Bigger’s brother, Wyly, plays keys on the song.
Her early influences of Joni Mitchell and John Prine shine in her authentic rootsy songwriting style of a bygone era. “Every now and again one of those quintessentially shining voices appears, and now is definitely one of those times,” says Melissa Clarke of Americana Highways back in 2020.
The new release coincides with a pair of dates performing with Trampled By Turtles on April 19th and 20th in Bristol, Virginia, and Athens, Georgia.
With a strong knack for storytelling and an ethereal voice to bring her words to life, Bailey Bigger continues to inject a vibrant authenticity into the modern music of today.