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2013.02.02 Fayssoux McLean

posted Jan 13, 2013, 12:54 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Feb 15, 2013, 8:02 AM by ]

     Legendary Spartanburg singer to perform at UU Coffeehouse

Fayssoux Starling McLean is a Spartanburg singer whose beguiling voice was an integral element in some of the finest country music recordings of our time.

She will be performing 8 p.m. Saturday Feb. 23 at the UU Coffeehouse at 2701 Heyward Street in Columbia, S.C. ( 

Her band will include Brandon Turner on electric guitar/vocals; Franklin Wilkie (The Marshall Tucker Band) on bass, and Larry Weldin on drums/vocals.

"Charm, elegance, whippoorwills and Magnolia dewdrops: these are the things that come to mind when I hear Fayssoux sing," says Rodney Crowell, who first sang with Emmylou Harris in Fayssoux's living room.

Fayssoux's debut album, "Early," followed about three decades later. Besides her own compositions ("Early," "I Know It's Over"), Fayssoux interprets the work of old friends (and songwriting greats) Rodney Crowell and Paul Craft. She takes on songs her grandmother sang to her as a child. She sings traditional folk songs, old-time gospel, contemporary country-rock and love ballads.

Fayssoux's singing has drawn the admiration of collaborators like Crowell, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Buddy Miller. For decades, that singing was a secret known only to esteemed musicians and astute and/or compulsive liner note readers. Fayssoux sang harmonies all over Emmylou Harris' legendary early albums, "Luxury Liner," "Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town," "Elite Hotel," and "Pieces of the Sky," and she sang duets with Emmylou on "Spanish is a Loving Tongue" and "Green Rolling Hills."

"I've always loved Fayssoux's voice. She's one of my favorite singers," says Emmylou.

More about Fayssoux McLean
from Red Beet Records

You've heard Fayssoux McLean, even if you haven't heard of her.

Given that Emmylou Harris is herself the single greatest and most consequential harmony vocalist in country music history, Fayssoux's role as Emmylou's harmony singer of choice should tell you nearly all you need to know.

But what you also need to know is that Fayssoux possesses a stunning lead voice, one that she finally let the world hear on her debut recording, "Early."  For awhile, it seemed as if that voice would never 
be properly heard and recorded, as Fayssoux dropped out of the music business in the 1970s and ultimately became a teacher in her native South Carolina.

Read the rest of Fayssoux's story at Red Beet Records

Fayssoux McLean: "Ashes of Love"

Fayssoux McLean and Brandon Turner at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg S.C., March 26, 2012

Fayssoux McLean: "Amen Children"

Fayssoux McLean with Brandon Turner at The Showroom in 
Spartanburg S.C., Feb. 6, 2010.       JOHNWATSONVIDEO

Tickets are $13 for adults and $5 for high school and college students with a reservation request left at 803-200-2824 or online. 

Without reservations, tickets at the door are $15 and $7. Children up through 8th grade are free with a paying adult.

Reserve your tickets through the UU Coffeehouse Events Line: 803-200-2824 (Leave your name and the number of tickets you need, and pay at the door) or register online.