"I wanna stop saying I wanna stop," sings Alden Schell on her unreleased album, and there is something serene yet powerful about her voice in full flight: it's a little wild, slightly smooth, part Patty Griffin, part Joni Mitchell, melting poetry and life into one beautiful sound and one perfect picture.
New York-based singer/songwriter, Alden Schell, was born and raised in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains and much like her hometown of Asheville, Alden embodies equal parts southern charm and eclectic appeal. Growing up in Appalachia surrounded the 31-year old artist with music ranging from bluegrass to Broadway, country to classic rock. She spent her childhood singing folk songs ‘round a campfire' and playing roles in community and musical theatre. And in the winter of 2004, after seeing Gavin DeGraw at the Georgia Theatre, she bought her first guitar at a local pawnshop and taught herself how to play.
Alden spent her college years in Athens at the University of Georgia -- hometown of some of her favorite performing groups: the Indigo Girls, R.E.M., the Drive-By Truckers and Mr. Ray Charles. Working to perfect a unique style and sound, Alden finished college and hooked on the idea, embarked on a 3 month road trip with her best friend that ended up in sunny California; only a coin toss determined their route. With so much success, the world famous Hard Rock Café hosted her West Coast debut in late 2005. Soon after, Alden again packed her car, took her Martin guitar, and hit the road on a 5300 mile trip around the country opening for bands and making new friends each place she stopped along the way.
Her music is reminiscent of Carole King’s early recordings and is often compared to Shawn Colvin with an Ani DiFranco edge...yet undeniably "Alden." Relying only on solo vocals and an acoustic guitar, the result is a mixture of a strong and light voice, beautiful lines filled with warmth and longing, some emotions you’ve never even felt before. Her addicting smile and quick wit, make her shows guaranteed to remember.
With fierce momentum and a loyal fan base, Alden’s journey now takes her back into the studio, where she’s excited to be working on her next album and living and playing in the New York Area.
Photo by Jennifer McKay
Biography by Elizabeth Siliato