At first she was a screamer, always on the verge of rupturing her vocal cords whenever she lived at or near the top of her range. But within a couple of years her voice got a little quieter, McGee recalled. Your soprano became a powerful, commanding instrument.

“I remember that one of the coolest things about playing with Morgan was always doing the sound check when we went to a bar and tested her microphone,” said McGee. “Everyone at the bar turned around just because that voice knew it was special.

“I’ve played with a lot of people who could sing. But she could sing a line and would have everyone’s attention. It was really cool. “

Meanwhile, the young woman who grew up on bluegrass and old-time music at the Floyd Country Store also developed some American and rock-style songwriting chops with an insistent rhythm guitar style.

Their live work caught the ears of Jason Isbell’s sound engineer at FloydFest in 2019. He approached her after her set in the merch tent, bought her music and told her he would play it for Isbell’s band. She was skeptical.

“I thought oh cool you know,” said Wade. “But by then I had learned that [sort of talk] hits nothing. I met a few people. “

However, within a few days, Vaden hit her with an email. He wanted to talk. He loved her voice and her songwriting. He wanted to make a record. They developed a musical partnership and friendship.