FAITH PILLOW / “Natural Woman”

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9 Responses to “FAITH PILLOW / “Natural Woman””

R. Joyce Johnson Says:
April 20th, 2009 at 1:48 am

I went to her site last week after hearing Blackbird. She’s every superlative you have written. She reminds me of my time. I find sanctuary in her voice. So glad to have found her after all. She is one of those on whose shoulders music stands. Thank You.

Paul OBrien Says:
April 20th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Faith was in her element as a live performer. She made love to her audiences. An electric current came from her that no recording could ever capture. She could sit on a stool in a small room, play and sing a tune, and raise a forest of goosebumps on anyone. Still, it is a shame that we don’t have more recordings of her. She was never really offered a good contract. The main reason was that she was of the record store era, and there was no ‘bin’ for the kind of music she did. She was constantly asked: ‘what kind of music do you do?’ The only answer was ‘Faith Pillow music’. Also, in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the industry was changing. Producers wanted a quick profit, and nobody was willing to invest the time, money, and effort necessary to develop the career of an artist with as unique a musical personality as Faith’s. And finally, she was leery of contracts, having had several bad experiences, in particular one in L.A. at the hands of the agents of a very well-known movie star. It was kind of the last straw that put her on a plane for Europe. In Europe, EMI offered her a 5-year deal, but they wanted ownership of everything she would write during that time, and she wouldn’t go for it. She wanted to do her music her way, and she did. It has been said that there is no good or bad music, only true music and false music. Faith’s music was the truest thing I have ever known.

Mtume Says:
April 22nd, 2009 at 3:32 am

"Sanity" sounds like a lost Joni Mitchell song. (A good one.) "Early In The Morning" reminds me of Joan Armatrading tune. Am I reading correctly that there are no seventies-era LPs available from Ms Pillow?

     kalamu sez         

you read correctly. during her lifetime, there were five albums and the 1981 Faith Pillow Live is the only one produced in the United States, although the 2008 release Solo does include three short tracks recorded in 1998 in Louisville shortly before her death. Additionally, two of the five are no longer available. As far as I know, that’s it. Go here to read about each of her albums.

Paul OBrien Says:
April 22nd, 2009 at 11:20 am

Both Sanity and Early in the Morning were written by Faith Pillow. She did credit Joni Mitchell as one of her big influences. Faith performed mostly her own tunes, but did occasionally cover tunes of other writers — sometimes tunes you wouldn’t expect, such as Bob Dylan’s If Tomorrow Wasn’t Such A Long Time or Elton John’s Rocket Man. The last of the 1981 vinyl LPs were sent to Japan just after the rerelease of that album on CD by the Celeste label of Tokyo. They sold out the day they arrived and were never even listed on the company’s website. A few lucky people in and around Chicago still have copies of this collector’s item.

Paul OBrien Says:
April 22nd, 2009 at 5:13 pm

For the gentleman who asked about ’70s era recordings — I have three tracks from the late ’70s recorded in a studio in the Chicago area. These are the earliest recordings of Faith that exist, I believe. I will put them on the download page of as soon as possible, hopefully tomorrow.

Liz Says:
April 7th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I was mesmerized by Faith Pillow from the first time I heard her at Ratso’s. I lost track of her many years ago when I left Chicago–and today–I decided to Google her. Though she passed some 13 years ago, I feel as though I am in deep mourning for the loss of her incomparable soul. Thank you for the piece, and for placating my need to know. Liz

Tom Taylor Says:
September 14th, 2014 at 11:11 am

I was her keyboardist and owner of UncleTunes Productions in Chicago. I still have over a thousand of her vinyl records(probably more like 2,000), still in the shipping boxes from Cincinnati, where we had the records pressed. She was one of the best artists I’ve worked with and I doubt another one will come along in my lifetime. i actually ended up with Winston, her dog, when she left Chicago.

Martin Says:
April 27th, 2015 at 9:12 am

Beaufitull songs

jan hoogestein Says:
April 21st, 2019 at 5:14 am

Dear All, I try to get in contact with the relatives of Faith Pillow. I have a collection of DAT-tapes with her recordings (demo’s etc), made in Holland in the 90s. They were produced by Alfred Lagarde, a friend and colleague of mine (who died in 1998. ). I’d like to send the tapes (or copies) to Faith’s family. Best Jan

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