Letitia VanSant - "Gut It to the Studs" (audio) (premiere)

Letitia VanSant produces warm and personable Americana that keeps its priorities straight.

Letitia VanSant centers herself on emotive storytelling on her upcoming debut LP, Gut It to the Studs. Already, she's becoming known for her poignant and nimble tales often lining up with her own life. For these reasons, the Baltimore artist is a consummate reflection of a rising Americana star.

Her latest, titular single is indicative of all of the above. It's a warm, rootsy track that sees VanSant "gut it to the studs" in both entirely figurative and wholly literal ways.

VanSant says on the track: "Sometimes you have to make a huge mess in order to make things better. I wrote this song when I left my job in DC, moved back home to Baltimore, and moved in with my partner in a house that needed a whole lot of work. I was trying to figure out what was most important to me, and trying to make time in my life for it. I think both personally and politically there can be a lot of power in getting our priorities straight."

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Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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