Michelle Branch talks music, touring and inspiration ahead of Untamed West Fest

Wednesday , September 13, 2017 - 3:32 PM

JACOB SCHOLL, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — Michelle Branch has had a busy year, complete with plenty of ups and downs. 

Branch’s new album, “Hopeless Romantic,” was released April 7. It’s is her first solo album since 2009 and the latest music she’s released since a 2011 EP, according to her website.

On top of her professional accomplishments, she’s also had a little excitement in her personal life. Patrick Carney, her then-boyfriend, popped the question in July, and Branch said yes.

The recent milestones follow a bumpy few years for the Grammy award-winner, which included Warner Bros. dropping her from their label. Her early-2000s hits with the label included “Everywhere,” “Goodbye to You” and “All You Wanted.”

Despite the few years of frustration with her management, Branch said she is happy to be touring again. 

“It’s been so long since I’ve been out touring, and it’s great to feel the love and support from fans,” Branch said in a phone interview with the Standard-Examiner. 

Branch’s “Hopeless Romantic” tour will conclude in Ogden with the Untamed West Fest, which will be hosted by the Standard-Examiner from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Ogden Amphitheater. It’s the first year for the festival, which will also feature openers Baskery, a Swedish Americana folk rock band, and Cherry Thomas, a local acoustic article. 

The tour was originally scheduled to extend to a stint in Europe, with shows in London, Berlin and Manchester, along with other large European cities. However, the overseas tour was scrapped when Branch was dropped from her new label, Verve Records, she said. Verve Records had just put out Branch’s new album. Branch told Entertainment Tonight earlier this month the label was dropping her. 

“The state of the music business is really strange, but I’m excited to move forward and make as much music as I can and be as independent as possible,” she told ET.

Branch echoed those words to the Standard-Examiner, saying she’s looking forward to being an independent artist and is “happy the machine is rolling.”

Branch said much of her new album’s inspiration came from getting dropped by Warner Bros. and her 2015 divorce from her husband of 10 years.

“I had a lot to write about,” she said. “But it was good to have that outlet.”

With her European tour now canceled, the last stop on Branch’s schedule will be in Ogden.

Branch said she’s happy to do the show and mentioned it worked out perfectly for her schedule, her band and most of all, her daughter Owen, who recently turned 12.

Branch usually tries to tour in the summer, while her daughter is out of school.

For the Saturday concert, Branch said she will be playing a little bit of everything, ranging from her new music to old favorites with updated sounds.

Branch also said her hiatus from releasing an album has been a good thing. It’s given her time to recreate her sound and style, she said.

“I’ve had a kind of blank slate because I haven’t released an album in a while,” she said. 

Branch also said Carney, who is the drummer for The Black Keys and the co-producer for Branch’s new album, will be at the show to play drums for the band. 

While Branch’s next moves aren’t set in stone, the two musicians have talked about collaborating and creating new music together, she said.

When asked if fans can expect new projects from her and The Black Keys in the future, she had a simple response: “Absolutely.” 

In addition to Branch, Baskery and Cherry Thomas, the Untamed West Fest will feature some of the area’s best food trucks, including Rickle’s cheesesteaks, Wasatch Roasting Company, Lucky Slice Pizza, Comfort Bowl, Marquesas Corndogs, Silver Moon Taqueria, HeidiCakes and Thieps Eats. 

Expect plenty of craft beer and Coors to sip on as well. 

Tickets to the Untamed West Fest run from $20 to $100. 

To purchase your tickets for the fest, visit www.events.standard.net/untamed-west-fest-ogden

Contact digital producer Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

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