Pretend Sweethearts’ new record Becoming the Tender Animal, is loaded with transcendental folk delicacies. With a populist heart, a Sufi spirit and the incurable vagabonding predisposition, the songs draw their essence from many wells. This isn’t cutesy, derivative, middle-class “bluegrass” – this is 21st century folk music passionately articulating hope, despair and vision amid the roots and detritus of contemporary music. Brianna Blackbird and Drew de Man are from opposite ends of America.
On their Spring 2015 tour, Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland stopped by the Fretboard Journal offices to talk guitars and songwriting. Doucet and McClelland have both worked as solo artists – independently and together – and as sidemen, most notably with Sarah McLachlan, with whom Doucet started playing way back in 1991 (he was just 19 at the time).
Attending a Milk Carton Kids concert is rewarding on many levels. The first thing you notice are the duo's gorgeous harmonies. The second thing that stands out is the pair's deft acoustic guitar playing. The songs are both new and timeless, a fresh take on the music of Simon & Garfunkel. And, as if all that wasn't enough, the MCK's between song conversations are simply hilarious... sarcasm as art.
Vermont duo Cricket Blue perform “Eleanor.” Filmed and recorded live at Beehive Productions Studios in Saranac Lake, NY in January 2015.
To learn more about Cricket Blue, watch Beehive Productions' Ear To The Ground featurette.
An original tune performed by 2012 National mandolin champion Jake Jolliff and fiddle empresario Mike Barnett. Recorded live at Beehive Productions in Saranac Lake, NY in October, 2014.
Husband and wife Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni are half of the gypsy-swing quartet, Caravan of Thieves. They performed as an acoustic duo for this live Pewter Shop audience at the 2015 Summer Hoot at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY.
Filmed and recorded by Beehive Productions.
“If Django Reinhardt, the cast of Stomp and the Beatles all had a party at Tim Burton's house, Caravan of Thieves would be the band they hired.”
Vermont duo Cricket Blue perform “Forsythia” from their 2014 self-titled release. Filmed and recorded live at Beehive Productions Studios in Saranac Lake, NY in January 2015.
The music of Vermont-based folk duo Cricket Blue is inspired by diverse aspects of the American folk tradition: old and current, popular and obscure. Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith write songs marked by close-knit harmonies and words about myth, confusion, love, and the ends of the things.
The Lowest Pair features the dual picking of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee. Draped in Kendl’s high lonesome harmonies and Palmer’s Midwest croon, their debut release, 36¢, (Team Love Records) was hailed by many outlets and American Songwriter praised their ”earnest, earthy songcraft.” On Feb 24, 2015, Team Love released their sophomore album, The Sacred Heart Sessions.