Music: Heard on Ocracoke

Heard on Ocracoke: Emily Musolino

Emily Musolino and her band will play at Gaffer's Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m.

By Peter Vankevich

To listen to Emily’s song, Bread N Water, click below. 

After a few visits to the island, Singer-songwriter Emily Musolino of Durham has become an Ocracoke convert.

Her first performance on Ocracoke was in August 2015 at Gaffer’s Sports Pub.

“I was struck by how serene and beautiful the beaches were and how charming the village was,” she said about the island. “It was paradise.”

Like Ocracoke weather that can drastically change in moments, her next visit was far from the serenity of her first experience.

Her trip here in June included her band, the Emily Musolino Band, and another gig at Gaffer’s.

“But my favorite part of the trip was competing in the Women’s Arm Wrestling Tournament,” she said.  “What a blast! This is when I really got to meet and get to know a lot of the locals.” The fun and campy event which is a fundraiser for Ocracoke’s WOVV community radio station, is also a serious competition.

She loved the names and costumes of the competitors, such as “Army Winehouse” (Kelly Shinn), “HB2” (Connie Leinbach), “Fat Jesus” (Melessa Owsley) and “Wrestles with Bears” (Kim Hansen, the winner).  Her own wrestling moniker was “Lady Clamalot.”

Her most recent visit was in December.

Emily Musolino visits WOVV, Ocracoke's community radio station. Photo by P. Vankevich

Emily Musolino visits WOVV, Ocracoke’s community radio station. Photo by P. Vankevich

“It was the off-season, but this time around I felt like we had been officially accepted into the Ocrafolk family.  We stayed at Pam’s Pelican, a super cute bed and breakfast right across the street from Gaffer’s, which was very convenient,” she said

“It was great hanging with pub owners Ashley and Red Harrell and the rest of the Gaffer’s crew. We had the pleasure of working with Dale Russell, the new sound man at Gaffer’s, who gave us one of the best and easiest sound checks we’ve had as a band.”

Her most recent visit, included an interview and performance on WOVV (90.1 FM and online at wovv.org).

A musician all of her life, Musolino has studied music, plays acoustic and electric guitar, has performed solo and with her band all over the country and is a recording producer.

She has released  two  albums. Her latest release 2014 is the EP “Jealous Girl.”

A Berklee College of Music graduate, she focused on voice and majored in contemporary writing and production.

Her training at the esteemed school near Fenway Park in Boston, gave her the skills to start her own recording studio, Blue Moose Studios.

She counts some high-powered vocalists as musical influences, including Etta James and Janis Joplin.

“They’ve been really big inspirations,” she has said in prior interviews. “Anything with a big vocalist I’m a big fan of, like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.”

Musolino, 27,  has always been a fan of older jazz music, but she also grew up on the heavy metal of Pantera and Metallica.

“It just seems to come out through my filter in a bluesy, soulful way,” she said.

She has also performed, recorded and collaborated with various local and nationally-recognized artists, including Vinx, Shelley Nicole, Shana Tucker, Anna Wise (SonnyMoon, Kendrick Lamar, Cunnylinguists) and Eric Hirsh (The Beast, Orquesta GarDel, Eric Hirsh Quartet). She is also the newest member of Dark Water Rising, a Pembroke-based (N.C.) “rocky soul” band fronted by American Idol semi-finalist Charly Lowry

Musolino has been featured on NPR’s the State of Things with Frank Stasio and Durham’s  online media site, Clarion Content.

Her next recording project will be entitled “The Vault,” named as such because it is a combination of new and older but previously unreleased material.

Her website is http://www.emilymusolino.com/

Bread N Water

Emily and Zack Hargett visit WOVV. PHoto by P. Vankevich

Emily and Zack Hargett visit WOVV. PHoto by P. Vankevich

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