Singer/violinist Alicia Previn is the daughter of André Previn KBE (the conductor of the Houston, Pittsburgh, and London Symphony Orchestras) and jazz singer Betty Bennett. She began playing the violin at age seven and was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London by Virginia Majewski and Joan Rotchford-Davies.
She has played with bands like the New Archaic, In Tua Nua, Folding Mr. Lincoln, Tim Foley, Yael & Vlady, the Rose Three, Big Boss Bubeleh, Now Jazz Quartet, the Young Dubliners, and others. Performers she has recorded with include Philip D'Arrow, Andy Leek, the Hothouse Flowers, Flogging Molly, Katmandu, Finn MacCool, Ten Bright Spikes, the Bumpin' Uglies, Cracker, Great White and Jack Russell, Richard Thompson, General Public, and the Communards.
Previn has also authored several children's books addressing the ecological future regarding earthworms, tortoises, and bees, sometimes tying her music in with the book projects. She debuted “The Earthworm Song” at an August 9, 2009, release party for The Earthworm Book at Escondido’s Stone Brewery. “The project took form because of my experience making compost,” says Previn, “and understanding the importance of what earthworms do for the earth. We’re inviting children to come see me perform, read from the book, dig for worms, and demonstrate building a worm box.”
The Stone Brewery event featured Wild Truth bassist David Ybarra, who wrote and produced the music on the CD that accompanies the book, as well as a third performer making his first public appearance.
“My worm-puppet Tola is a hand-knitted replica of a real worm, with no eyes or ears,” says Previn, who doesn’t mind if someone takes Tola’s real-world brethren fishing. “One of the aspects of the book is the making of a worm box to grow more worms, so, yes, go ahead and use them to fish. In fact, I like to fish and cut bait.”
But why have a children’s concert at a brewery? “Stone Brewery happens to be unusual in that they run their whole operation using sustainable methods of growing, including their garden setting for the restaurant. The Earthworm Book is a good complement for their philosophy. Their events include ‘A Book and a Brew,’ including a children’s version.
“With nonalcoholic brew, of course.”
2016 found Previn on tour with Nik Turner's Hawkwind, performing as lead singer violinist in progressive rock band Hedersleben, who opened.
In summer 2020, she announced "The new page on my website called Book Music has each song I wrote for my four children's books Love of Nature series. The newest just mixed, need to get two of them mastered, What Paradise Found and Tortoise Valley...The Earthworm Book also has my narration with page turning sounds, other instrumentals and a dance by David Ybarra."
Early 2022 found Previn working with reggae icon Scientist, aka Hopeton Brown. After the well-known sound engineer and dub originator was shown video of Previn performing the reggae standard “The Tide Is High,” he contacted her on Facebook to express his admiration and suggest a collaboration. The result was a new version of the song “Broken Heart” by one of Scientist's discoveries, Israeli artist Shusha Onyema, produced by Dana Peralta and recorded at Studio City Sound in Los Angeles.
In 2023, Previn took part in a session with reggae producer, The Scientist, for a Paul McCartney project, a new version “Frank Sinatra’s Party” from Egypt Station Explorer Edition. Previn's own single, "Purpose of a Dog," features her son Max O’Reilly playing guitars and electronic drums and was produced by Jeff Forrest for Noise Cartel Records, with a video streaming online.