top of page
Vortex cover redux.jpg

We have some copies of the original release of At The Vortex from 1997 (without bonus track). If you'd like to order a copy, please contact us by clicking here. $20 covers cd cost plus s/h (additional shipping for outside of the US may apply). The re-release is available to stream or buy/download from all major platforms via The Orchard. You'll see some links to Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music/Itunes above.  

At The Vortex ***** Review (!!)
Jul/Aug 2021 issue of the great UK mag RnR

RNR Cover - Vortex Review 2021.jpg
RNR Review 2021 Vortex cr.jpg

More Vortex Artwork & Photos

Vortex back cover.jpg
Vortex credits artwork2021_20210504_0001

Note:  Lowrey is the correct spelling of Allen's name.  So Sorry Allen!

Vortex lyrics 1.jpg
Vortex Lyrics 2.jpg
Vortex lyrics 3.jpg

Bonus Track for 2021 Digital Re-Release

All For Naught

Words and Music    1986 Tom Ovans

Recorded at Sound Vortex Studio, Nashville

Lou Ann Bardash - Slide Acoustic Guitar

Larry Chaney - Electric Guitar

Kelley Looney - Bass

Ken Coomer - Drums


He's got a smile

Lights up this room

He's got a smile

Takes away the gloom

Me I'm sitting here

Staring at the door

He can leave you wondering

What you come back for

Everything is changing

Everything's the same

Everything is joy

And everything is pain

Climbing walls

Trying to get back in

Climbing walls

Trying to get back out again

I feel like I'm ahead

Feel like I'm behind

All my friends just say

It's not your time

What can you do

When you're feeling sad

Keep telling yourself

It can't be this bad

Well the last time I saw him

We were in the park

I was playing my guitar

And the day was getting dark

Guess a win is a win

And a loss is a loss

No matter what you do

Sometimes it's all for naught

Vortex Credits.jpg
Vortex disc.jpg

At The Vortex Album Notes

Celebrating the (almost) 25 year anniversary of the original release of musician/artist Lou Ann Bardash’s At The Vortex, we are proud to re-release and make the album available for the first time digitally distributed by The Orchard through all of its online platforms.

Recorded in 1997 at the legendary Sound Vortex Studio in Nashville, TN, the album was co-produced with Lou Ann by insurgent folkie Tom Ovans (Lou Ann’s partner and husband) and engineered by underground studio pioneer Robb Earls. Joining Lou Ann (vocals, acoustic, acoustic slide and percussion) in the studio were some of the best musicians in Nashville at the time:

Larry Chaney (Edwin McCain) on electric guitar/quatro

Kelley Looney (Steve Earle & The Dukes) on bass
Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco) on drums and percussion

Allen Lowrey (Lambchop) drums/bongos
Dennis Taylor (Gatemouth Brown) on Tenor Sax

This new release of At The Vortex contains 12 tracks and includes a bonus track not previously available on the original album. Of the 12 tracks, seven are written by Lou Ann and five are original and unique covers.

The first song “Contemplation” is a gorgeous, moody piece of music that introduces us to Lou Ann’s full bodied yet tender alto. The song is captured perfectly by Lou Ann and the band with Ken Coomer and Kelley Looney laying down a deep groove against the shimmering guitars of Lou Ann and Larry Chaney.

A mid tempo angst rocker, “People Come” is Lou Ann’s sarcastic comment and attitude towards the self obsessed, self serving humans that we all encounter and sometimes are. The track includes some more great guitar work by Larry Chaney.

“Gone To Mexico” is a beautiful and tender version of a very much underrated Tom Ovans song. Lou Ann is able to paint in the colors and the mood of the lyrics without losing the song’s desperado edge.

“Oklahoma 1912” is a short powerful moving masterpiece of a song written by Lou Ann about the early life tragedies of the young Woodrow Guthrie.

Speaking of masterpieces, Lou Ann takes Leonard Cohen’s “Tower Of Song” and turns it into a blistering bluesy folk rocker set in 3⁄4 time. She rips through the lyrics and turns the song inside out and manages to put it all back together by the end.

Next comes a wild take on Bessie Smith’s smoking “Sorrowful Blues”. With a marching beat and a lazy, drawling vocal, Lou Ann puts her own stamp on this great blues tune.


Soaked in a Twins Peak-like atmosphere, next comes the startling “Sophie Frankenstein”, another original that finds Lou Ann singing and playing percussion. The song is like an obituary, telling the story of a “former teacher, according to her cousin Judge McBride”.


“Loneliness” and “Never Say It Again” find the album shifting gears to Barking Dog Studio. Lou Ann’s vocal and acoustic playing grooves perfectly with Allen Lowrey on drums/bongos and Robb Earls on bass. These recordings capture her in a stripped down coffee house mode singing these two compelling songs in a direct yet unforced way.


“Blues ‘n’ Booze” pairs jazz tenor sax man Dennis Taylor with Lou Ann on a stunning version of this Art Hodes Trio classic. Ghosts of June Christy seem to drift around this magical take.


Turning up the weird, the final track on the album is the avant-garde “My Time”. With Lou Ann singing/playing the conga and Dennis riffing on sax, it was a one shot performance that was luckily captured as it went down. It was a great way to end At The Vortex while giving a peek towards Lou Ann’s future creative directions.


Included in this re-release is a bonus track called, “All For Naught”. Why this outtake from the Sound Vortex sessions wasn’t included on the original line-up is anybody’s guess. Hindsight is always 20/20. Lou Ann’s reworking of this unreleased Tom Ovans gem is nothing short of stunning. Lou Ann kicks off the track on acoustic slide with the band roaring in like a southbound train, turning this folk blues into a blast of blues rock.


For more information contact: 

At The Vortex Photo Gallery
Click on each image for a larger view

bottom of page