“I’ve been most influenced by the people around me,” Riley said. “Everyone I hang out with plays music or does something artistic.”
Now, with her debut album’s release just around the corner, the local musician said she is more focused on recording but still performs frequently.
“She’s a versatile singer, from country to alternative,” said Lilly Walker, who has performed in Upfolk with Riley and as a back-up vocalist for her solo shows. “She can come up with some really original hooks and choruses.”
When Riley came to one of Upfolk’s shows, Travis Puntarelli, the organizer of the all-strings band, said, “Ziona’s in the house. Give her a guitar.”
“Her involvement was almost spontaneous,” Walker said after recounting the tale.
“She has an incredible voice,” Walker said. “It’s very mournful and unique.”
Walker’s sister Evelyn is the cover artist for Riley’s upcoming debut album, which is being recorded at Rewind Records.
The release is set for Oct. 16, with a CD release show to be held at The SwitchYard.
“Her music is a mix between folk and 1950s classic country,” said Austin Hoke, who backs Riley on pedal steel guitar for some of her shows and the upcoming record.
- from IDS Online