Annie McIntyre of AnnieMac says she hopes the band's new album will garner the right attention from a major record label. - annimacmusic.com

Ignition! ..... Blast off!

Local roots rock act AnnieMac spent much of 2007 hard at work on its forthcoming release, "Ignition." The group recorded the 13-song set at Radiostar studios in Weed, Calif., under the guidance of producers Sylvia Massy Shivy and local music guru Jeff Pevar, a collaboration which Annie McIntyre, the band's lead vocalist, says brought the project's creative energy to new heights.

"It's the highest level of music that I've done so far in my life," relates McIntyre. "As far as being in a world-class studio and working with world-class musicians, producers and engineers, it was just excellent. Working with people like Sylvia and Jeff just brought us up several notches."

AnnieMac will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Equilibrium, 140 Lithia Way, Ashland.

The group's lineup is rounded out by Joe Diehl on guitar, J. Jorgensen on bass, Allen Crutcher on keys and Jim Sitter on drums.

AnnieMac entered the studio with more songs than the record ultimately needed, but was able to condense the list of candidates into the final track list.

"We went in with about 20 songs, and whittled it down to 13," says McIntyre.

According to McIntyre, the album is "eclectic but cohesive," combining the various influences and sonic specialties of its contributors, while still staying true to AnnieMac's signature sound.

"It has a little of everything," McIntyre says. "There is some danceable all-out rock, as well as a few 'rootsy' ballads," she explains. "Not very many people have heard it yet, but those who have say that they aren't tired of listening to it."

Asked about the band's next steps, McIntyre expressed hopes that the album will make a few for them. "This record will hopefully be the ambassador for us," she says. "It can go out and be heard, and help familiarize people with us before we come to play in their town."

The band has even begun the process of shopping the album to various record labels, with promising responses already beginning to materialize.

"We've cleared the first hurdle with one label, and hopefully we'll hear back," she says.

While the possibility of a label-provided budget may be exciting, the band is confident enough in its work to not rely solely on the potential offer of a record contract.

"If we aren't signed, we will be releasing it ourselves within the next two months," says McIntyre. "That is the underlying statement in our music: just be the music and let it speak for itself."

Upon its release, "Ignition" will be available at local record stores and AnnieMac shows, as well as through the band's official website, anniemacmusic.com.

While the group will continue its immediate performance focus on Southern Oregon, playing both acoustic and full-band shows at venues all over the valley, more extensive tour plans are on the horizon.

"A lot of it is contingent on whether or not we sign to a label, or which one we sign to. But either way, we are going to tour the states, and eventually Europe," says McIntyre.

Admission to the show at Equilibrium is on a sliding scale of $7 to $12. Call 488-8894.

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