With the help of seasoned musicians backing her up, she recorded her latest album, "Chesapeake," in a friend's house and released it without professional studio or major label backing. Instead, "Chesapeake" has fans to thank for its birth having been released via PledgeMusic. Yamagata started her own label, Frankenfish, and returned to the same producer, John Alagia, who worked with her on her 2004 debut, "Happenstance."
After collaborating with everyone from Jason Mraz to Toots and the Maytals, and having her deeply emotional songs punctuate climactic moments on TV or in movies, her latest album is a step beyond her previous efforts because it's all hers. Ms. Yamagata grew up near the location where this album was recorded, Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, dividing her time between family in both DC and New York. A multi-talented artist who plays both piano and guitar, Yamagata sings about everything from tigers hunting their prey to mismatched lovers.