‘Loose Cannon’: Shepherdstown native’s debut album released
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherdstown native Olivia Ellen Lloyd’s debut album, “Loose Cannon,” was officially released on Feb. 26. It is now available on all streaming platforms.
Lloyd is the youngest of four girls. She learned to play music from her father, who was a staple in her hometown’s local music scene.
“My dad, Greg, passed away in 2014, but was a regular performer at weddings, bars and coffee shops in the area, especially the Meck,” Lloyd said, referring to the Mecklenburg Inn.
After her father’s passing, she took a brief break from live performances. However, she never stopped writing.
Lloyd attended Shepherdstown Elementary School, Shepherdstown Middle School and Jefferson High School. After graduating from JHS, she attended the University of Michigan on an academic scholarship and studied theater directing and English literature. While there, she both wrote and performed songs, playing house concerts, the Ann Arbor Art Fair and competing as a finalist in the Ark’s songwriting contest.
Although Lloyd’s permanent address is now in Brooklyn, N.Y., she still has maintained her connection to Shepherdstown.
“My grandparents moved to Shepherdstown in the 1950s from north-central West Virginia and raised their family here — my mother stayed and raised us here, too,” Lloyd said, mentioning her sister, Ellie, and mother, Mary Ellen, still live in town. “My grandfather Clarence ‘Bones’ Wright was a huge presence in the Shepherdstown community during his lifetime, and served several terms as mayor of the town. The street just past his old house now bears his name (Bones Wright Drive), which he found very amusing.”
According to Lloyd, her Appalachian roots can be heard in her music. Some of her musical influences are Jenny Lewis, Jason Isbell and Phoebe Bridgers.
“I am proudly an Appalachian songwriter,” Lloyd said, mentioning her debut album is the culmination of nearly a decade of work.
When Lloyd comes back to Shepherdstown after the COVID-19 Pandemic ends, she hopes to perform some songs from her debut album at local businesses.
“I had a gig scheduled at the Shepherdstown Folly which was canceled due to COVID — I hope I can make it back there,” Lloyd said. “I also hope the Shepherdstown Opera House opens again and hosts live music. I worked there from ages 13-to-18 and had many fun nights slinging beers for Speakeasy Boys concerts in the early aughts. I would love to play there.”