Oh, to be young and precocious.

Althea Grace, raised by a music loving family within the shadows of the vibrant Chicago music scene, first took the stage at age eight. Ten years later, she has taken her soulful, bluesy voice on tour with Doyle Bramhall II and Los Lobos and has shared the stage with, among others, The Shins, Sylvan Esso, and X Ambassadors.

Now eighteen, Grace has just released a new solo EP, Dreamers, her first solo recording since 2015. Featured this month on Trail Mix is the track “Blow Them All Away.”

A new musical focus for Grace is Future Stuff, a duo that features her talents on vocals, bass, and guitar along with Gabe Burdulis on guitar, kick drum, trumpet looping, and vocals. Future Stuff released their first EP in 2016, and it is my hope that this combination of outstanding young musicians has plans for a recording project and extensive touring in 2018.

Althea was kind enough to take some questions from me on the new recording project, her already long performing career, and how to keep from flaming out too young.

BRO – On stage and performing before the age of ten? Were you too young to be nervous?

AG – Absolutely. People ask me all the time if I get nervous, and I always respond with, “I don’t know how to be nervous.” It’s a huge blessing.

BRO – What’s the secret behind making Future Stuff click?

AG – Lots of caffeine? I think we’ve gotten to a point where we just know what we’re doing, and so we practice and write separately and then throw it all together when it’s time to play and record.

BRO – Plans for a long player soon?

AG – I hope so. I can’t wait to get more music out there.

BRO – We are featuring “Blow Them All Away” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?

AG – That’s my long song. It’s about finding that great love, the one that you know defies all odds and is the love that blows all those other loves out of the water.

BRO – Got any plans to prevent burnout? I mean, your twentieth birthday will be here before you know it!

AG – Hah! I talk about this all the time. It boils down to my ultimate goal – being happy. And, for now, and definitely for the near future, music makes me happy. But I definitely worry about burning out, because I am eighteen and have the back and shoulders of an eighty year old.

Althea Grace will be celebrating the release of her new EP with a run of shows in Wisconsin and Chicago later this month. For more information on the new EP or where you can see Althea live, please check out her website.

And be sure to take a listen to “Blow Them All Away,” along with other great tracks from Youth In A Roman Field, The Captain of Sorrow, Jesse Marchant, Big Star, and more on this month’s Trail Mix.