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.
Each song written by brothers Mikey and Matty Gervais is an expression of their personal experiences. They've learned to harness their emotions into a dialogue between themselves and their audiences that leaves the listener feeling that they've just seen into the lives of these performers. Their lyrics are made all the more poignant when backed by their uniquely blended folk-pop-rock sound.
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Jefferson Hamer performs “Helena.”
Filmed in front of a live audience during the 2015 Winter Hoot at the Ashokan Center.
To learn more about The Winter Hoot, watch Beehive Productions' Ear To The Ground featurette.
Sean Rowe performs his song "Desiree", filmed and recorded live at Caffè Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY - January 2015.
To learn more about Caffe Lena, watch Beehive Productions' Ear To The Ground featurette, available December 16, 2015.
Jim Gaudette & The Railroad Boys perform their song "Ink My Name", filmed and recorded live at Caffè Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY - January 2015
To learn more about Caffe Lena, watch Beehive Productions' Ear To The Ground featurette.
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alec Spiegelman (Cuddle Magic) performs “Better for You.”
Urban art-folksier Peter Mulvey has lived an artist's life since adolescence -- he was a college theater major, spent time busking in Dublin, Ireland, and founded the Milwaukee band Big Sky, all before his early twenties. But his professional music career didn't really begin until 1991, when was fired from a job at a Kinko's Copiers in Boston. Flat broke and in need of immediate cash to entertain his visiting brother, Mulvey starting playing his guitar in the subway.
Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee likes to keep moving. Over the six years following the release of his debut record, Learning to Bend, Sollee and his rugged cello, Kay, told an unconventional story. Seeking a deeper connection to communities on the road, Ben packed his touring life on to his bicycle in 2009. Since then he has ridden over 4,000 miles. He kicked off 2014 with the release of his score for the documentary film Maidentrip. In March, he performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a tribute to Paul Simon.
A time traveler, a timeless artist, Amy Speace’s voice and songs serve as a bridge from the past to the present in folk music.