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Natalie York Finds Her Voice

The 22-year-old Vienna native is already making a big splash on the alt-country scene

Natalie York has earned acclaim as a local artist that’s garnered recognition for her alt-country debut album. Photograph by Joni Fatora

Not many aspiring singer/songwriters get to perform with Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin while still in college. But 22-year-old Vienna native Natalie York had an early start: She’s been writing songs since age 13, when she attended a summer workshop with singer/songwriter Tom Prasada-Rao at the University of Virginia. “I was the youngest student there, so I was really in over my head,” York says. “But I fell in love with it.”

Her debut CD, Threads, came out last year and was named one of the area’s best alt-country albums of 2010 by the Washington Post. York’s voice is often compared to that of Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt, but she credits a Washington artist for inspiration: “I grew up listening to Eva Cassidy and am just in awe of her.”

Having graduated from the songwriting program at the University of Miami, York is back home in Vienna working on new material.