While Alice DiMicele retains her folk identity, the singer-songwriter says listeners will need a liberal definition of the genre to recognize it in her music.
"It's folk music in that it's still about folks, but it's not traditional in the sense of the chord structure or the type of melody or the rhythm," she says.
Americana more accurately depicts her music, which is infused with hints of jazz, R&B and funk.
Born in New Jersey, DiMicele moved to Southern Oregon in 1986, where she began her career as a solo, acoustic guitarist. While she still solos, DiMicele now heads her band, the Alice DiMicele Band featuring Jeff Pevar on guitar, Damian Erkskine on bass, Russ Kleineron drums, Mikey Stevens on trumpet and flugelhorn and Duke Davis on saxophone.
DiMicele releases her 12th album, "Lucky Dogs," Friday, May 20, before launching a summerlong tour through Oregon, Northern California, Washington and Nevada. The tour opens with a show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way, Ashland. She also plays at 8 p.m. May 20 at Applegate Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate. Kleineron, who is featured on the CD, will be unable to accompany DiMicele on the tour. Drummer Brian West will play in his stead.
DiMicele plays rhythm guitar, forcing her full, expressive vocals to the forefront of her music.
"My guitar style is all about the groove, setting up a base of energy for my voice," she says.
While she possesses a five-octave vocal range, she sings to the emotions of the song rather than using her voice as a platform to show off, she says. The band's other musicians, including guitar virtuoso Pevar, curb their instrumentation to give DiMicele's voice the limelight it deserves.
"He (Pevar) understands how to play with me," says DiMicele. "He's able to create an atmosphere around a song without stepping on my vocals, and in turn, when I give him a nod, he can play a solo that will blow someone's head off."
The title "Lucky Dogs" came from the lyrics to her song "The Ballad of Turk and Roxy," which at first appears to be a love song about dogs "but is really a love song to my man," she says.
While her previous albums were more simple and the acoustics more predominant, "Lucky Dogs" has more complex instrumentation and more of a band-feel. The album as a whole reflects all the "blessings" in DiMicele's life and contains a new version of her favorite song, also the title track of her 1989 album, "It's a Miracle."
"I have a good life," she says. "I'm a lucky dog."
Tickets to her show at Ashland Community Center are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/165881. For more information, call 541-245-6645 or see www.alicedimicele.com.