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folk alley's open mic Michele Lynn Open Mic is the place for unsigned, undiscovered or otherwise under-exposed artists to post their music and take Folk Alley's online corner stage.

This month's featured Open Mic artist is Michele Lynn  from Philadelphia, PA.
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Folk Alley Sessions at 30A: Robby Hecht & Caroline Spence - "Trying"







Folk Alley Blog

Folk Alley Radio Show #170713

July 15, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpg Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

Stream this week's show, on-demand, right here.

This week in hour one, we salute the Father of Folk Music, Woody Guthrie on his 105 Birthday; and feature new music from Offa Rex, Twisted Pine, and Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters; we'll hear an exclusive in-studio session with Portland-based singer-songwriter, John Craigie; some classic Piedmont blues from Warner Williams and Eddie Pennington; plus favorites from The Howlin' Brothers and many more.

In hour two, more new music from the Lonesome River Band, Slaid Cleaves, Steve Earle & The Dukes, and Oh Susanna; an exclusive Folk Alley recording from the 2017 FestiTrad in Quebec featuring the a capella qunitet, Musique à Bouche; plus more favorites from John Prine, Greg Brown, The Avett Brothers, Eilen Jewell, The Wood Brothers, Dave Alvin & Rosie Flores, and many more.

CLICK to LISTEN:



Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 12:22 PM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170706

July 8, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpgIf you're not lucky enough to live in one of the 50 markets currently airing the Folk Alley weekly radio show, now you can stream the most recent episodes on-demand right here.

Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

This week, in hour one, new music from Lonesome River Band, Kasey Chambers, Sam Baker, Slaid Cleaves, Rachel Baiman, and one from Oh Susanna's new album, 'A Girl In Teen City'; a set featuring exclusive recordings with Robby Hecht & Caroline Spence from the 2017 30A Songwriters Festival; everything will be alright with Deb Talan and Bob Dylan; plus more favorites from Rod Picott and Jimmy LaFave.

In hour two, more new music from Offa Rex, Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, The Mavericks, and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit; we'll hear a track from Twisted Pine's self-titled debut album, and a new live track from the O'Connor Band with Mark O'Connor; plus favorites from Gretchen Peters, Elephant Revival, Nickel Creek, and more.

CLICK to LISTEN:



Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 7:36 PM

A Q & A with Molly Tuttle

July 7, 2017

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for Folk Alley

molly tuttle.jpg .jpgAsk pretty much anyone over, say, 35 to name the best pickers in roots music and their list would likely include the standards: Bryan Sutton, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, et al. But, if you asked someone in the younger set, that list might very well include Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, and Molly Tuttle. With her new EP, Rise, Tuttle aims to secure her place on the list, while also showcasing her talents as a singer and a songwriter.

Kelly McCartney: You made some big geographic moves over the past few years. How did the different landscapes and communities inform your creative expression on this record?

Molly Tuttle: Growing up in California, I was very immersed in the bluegrass scene out there. My dad teaches music and, through him, I met a lot of local Bay Area musicians and started going to shows and festivals in the area. It was a wonderful community to grow up in because everyone was very supportive. I fell in love with jamming and performing with friends who played bluegrass and that is how I started down the path of wanting to pursue music as a career.

When I moved to Boston to study music at Berklee, I became interested in music theory for the first time and was also exposed to many different styles of music that I previously hadn't listened to or studied. A lot of my guitar teachers came from jazz and blues backgrounds so I was exposed to different ways of thinking about music and different ways of approaching improvisation which was really great. Now, living in Nashville, I am completely inspired by the incredible musicianship and creativity that thrives here. It has been a huge learning experience to try co-writing with more experienced writers around town.

From Hazel Dickens to Bob Dylan, how do you hear your different influences coming through your work?

Hazel was one of the first people I listened to who inspired me to try and find a unique voice and try writing my own songs from my own life experiences. In her writing and singing, you can tell that everything comes straight from her heart and that really spoke to me. She has her own way of singing and writing that doesn't really fit in any box -- it is totally her own.

When I listened to Bob Dylan for the first time, I immediately was blown away by his lyrics and how he seemed to break conventional songwriting "rules." He really inspired me, as a writer, to be a little more free with song form and lyrical content. Joni Mitchell was another big hero of mine who I got into in college. I feel influenced by her creative guitar voicings -- she is one of my favorite guitarists. Dave Rawlings is another big guitar hero of mine who taught me that is okay to break "rules" with what notes and intervals you play.

Even though you're very clear about expanding your musical horizons, are you expecting or have you experienced any pushback from the "that ain't bluegrass" crowd? If so, how do you handle that tactfully?

I have experienced a little push back, but not as much as I might have thought I would when I first started writing my own songs and breaking away from the traditional bluegrass sound. I think the shift for me has happened gradually, and I am lucky to have amazing and loyal fans who support the direction that I am heading in.

You've been making music for more than half your life now, sometimes alongside legends. How do you balance confidence, nervousness, and humility in those situations?

Over time, my confidence in myself and as an artist has grown. I used to be very self-conscious when playing and performing, especially around musicians that I admired. Experience and time has taught me that it's okay to make mistakes and that I have something valuable to offer with my music. It has taken me a while to find a balance between being confident in my abilities in any situation, and also recognizing how much I have to learn from others.

In a perfect world, what would you want people to take away from your music?

I think that music can make people feel a sense of connection, hope, and joy. I hope that my music can bring comfort and happiness to others!

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Molly Tuttle's EP, 'Rise' is available now via iTunes and Amazon.com

Upcoming tour dates

Posted by Linda Fahey at 4:00 PM

Folk Alley Radio Show #170629

July 6, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Folk Alley Logo - tan matte 240.jpgIf you're not lucky enough to live in one of the 50 markets currently airing the Folk Alley weekly radio show, now you can stream the most recent episodes on-demand right here.

Each week, host Elena See collects the best in contemporary and traditional folk, Americana and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings. Two new hours each week.

In hour one of this episode, we celebrate America with music from Martin Sexton and Simon & Garfunkel; new music from Molly Tuttle, Jeff Tweedy, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Sarah Jane Scouten, and The Secret Sisters; we'll hear an exclusive in-studio performance by Darrell Scott; and a new live track from Old Crow Medicine Show in honor of the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan's 'Blonde on Blonde'; plus favorites from Amanda Shires, The Earls of Leicester, Eric Bibb & Maria Muldaur, and more.

In hour two, more new music from Sam Baker, Steve Earle & the Dukes, The Waifs, Quiles & Cloud, and Joan Shelley; we'll hear a set from Kasey Chambers' new album, 'Dragonfly'; and we take the Chevy to the Levy with a classic track from the great Don McLean; plus more favorites from the O'Connor Band with Mark O'Connor, Tim O'Brien, and Mary Gauthier.

CLICK to LISTEN:



Folk Alley's weekly, syndicated radio show is produced by Linda Fahey and Jon Nungesser, and hosted by Elena See. The show is available for free to stations via PRX.org or directly from WKSU via FTP for non-PRX members. The Folk Alley Radio Show is presently carried on over 50 stations nationally. For more information contact Linda Fahey at 518-354-8077: Linda@folkalley.com

Posted by Linda Fahey at 5:29 PM

O Canada - video playlist

July 1, 2017

by Linda Fahey

Canada Heart.jpegTo celebrate Canada Day and the 150 Anniversary of Canada's Constitution Act of 1867, kick back with some poutine and Molson, and enjoy our 3-hour video playlist of exclusive Folk Alley Sessions with many of our favorite Canadian artists - The Small Glories, Rose Cousins, Kaia Kater, Old Man Luedecke, Amelia Curran, Pharis & Jason Romero, Wendy MacIsaac & Mary Jane Lamond, David Francey, and more!

Happy Canada Day!

Posted by Linda Fahey at 9:29 AM

Song Premiere: Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters, "Learning How To Love Him"

May 31, 2017

by Elena See, Folk Alley

HoneyCov2 400.jpgChange is unavoidable. There's not a thing you can do to stop it and if you resist its pull, it takes an even greater toll on your spirit. If you can stand back and allow it to happen, though, you might be surprised by the results.

Amanda Anne Platt knows all about change - how scary it can feel and yet how exhilarating it can be at the same time. Recently, she decided it was time to put herself and her musical artistry front and center. Her bandmates agreed and so, starting with their new, self-titled album, The Honeycutters will now be known as Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters. A small change, perhaps, but one that leaves no doubt about who the heart and soul of this remarkable band really is.

"Learning How To Love Him," a song you'll find on the new album, is a prime example of the new intimacy Platt shares with her audience. Her voice, rising and falling above a simple, spare guitar line, is on display in a way it never has been before.

Quietly, candidly, and without a trace of sentimentality, Platt examines how love changes over the years as circumstances dictate. Love, like life, experiences its fair share of ups and downs. It can be strong and steady one moment and wavering and fragile in the next. And, surprisingly, in the wake of tragedy, it can bloom anew to become more meaningful than ever before.

Platt says she wrote the song after hearing an acquaintance talk about learning that her husband of four-plus decades was terminally ill. "What really struck me was how she described the tenderness that the news brought back to their relationship," Platt says. "She said that the house was quiet and she had never realized how much they used to yell at one another. The topic is unavoidably sad but I meant to focus on the beauty of loving someone for that long rather than the loss."

You DO feel the loss in this song - it would be impossible not to. Yet, the journey this particular love takes is one any of us would be lucky to experience.

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Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters will be released on June 9th, and is available for pre-order now at iTunes and Amazon.com.

Upcoming tour dates


Posted by Linda Fahey at 5:15 PM

20 Essential Jimmy LaFave Favorites

May 22, 2017

by Linda Fahey, Folk Alley

Jimmy-LaFave_Promo 400.jpgWe join the folk music community in mourning the loss of our friend, singer/songwriter Jimmy LaFave who passed away yesterday (May 21) from a rare form of cancer, and extend our deepest condolences to Jimmy's family, friends and loved ones.

Jimmy will always hold a very special place in the larger folk music community, and in particular among his Austin, Texas tribe. He'll forever be remembered for his poignant songs and deeply moving vocals, and for his kindness, humor, grace and generosity.

As a tribute, we've put together a 20-song playlist of some of our favorite Jimmy LaFave songs. If you're not familiar with Jimmy's music, we especially hope you'll listen.

R.I.P., Jimmy. Thank you for your music.




Posted by Linda Fahey at 6:00 PM

Hear It First: Chris Kasper, 'O, the Fool'

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com

Chris Kasper TheFool 300.jpgLife, just as with nature, is comprised of seasons. Infancy, youth, middle-age, and old-age are familiar milestones, but even within those phases, we each experience the metaphorical mountains, valleys, and deserts that make up a life well-lived. And though their journeys might be more public and artistic, creative folks' ebbs and flows are no different. Such is certainly the case with Chris Kasper.

For his new album, O, the Fool, Kasper found his muse in a tarot card of the same name that depicts a traveling jester (or vagabond, depending on the deck) with all his belongings bundled in a handkerchief and tied to a stick flung over his shoulder. "The Fool, in the tarot deck, usually represents a new beginning and end to something in your old life," Kasper explains. "It also signifies important decisions that involve an element of risk. For me, I felt this record was doing this, in a musical and lyrical sense. It also sounds a lot like my own personal and musical evolution."

Indeed, Kasper has made intentional artistic strides away from his last effort, Bagabones, which was chock full of minor keys and weird sounds, and toward a lighter lushness that represents and reflects the journey he, himself, made over the past few years. "These songs became small journeys in themselves, even lyrically, traveling from the east to the west," he notes, "through cycles of love, second guesses, car troubles, longing for lazy mornings, letting go, and starting over. "

The song titles, themselves - "City by the Sea," "Moving West," "State Trooper," and "Love Letter from Santa Fe," among others - trace his steps and tell his story across a musical landscape that is both soulful and playful.

"I learned a lot from arranging strings on the last record and I wanted to try more of that," Kasper adds. "My method was to keep the tunes fairly simple in structure, even abandoning choruses in some songs in favor of tag lines or dressing them up with strings, horns, and piano. It felt like a good and challenging road for me to explore."

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O, the Fool is out on June 2. Pre-released singles from the album are available now at iTunes.

Upcoming tour dates

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Posted by Linda Fahey at 11:20 AM

Video Premiere: Pieta Brown, "Street Tracker"

May 17, 2017

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com

Pieta Brown Postcards 500x500.jpgSubjective interpretation is one of the fundamental components of art. Where some see chaos, others see order. Where some sense rage, others sense passion. In Pieta Brown's "Street Tracker," some might experience tenderness and vulnerability in both purpose and practice. But the artist herself experiences something completely different.

"The spark for 'Street Tracker' was a photograph I saw of a motorcycle not long after getting home from being on the road touring," she says. "I saw a kind of openness, freedom, and power in the machine. I hear and feel this same mix in Mark Knopfler's guitar playing."

Of course, vulnerability and courage are inextricably linked, so perhaps this song (like most of Brown's music) lives in the space between the two, in the transformation of those qualities into the artwork that represents them. Like the power in even the gentlest of streams that slowly, gradually, defiantly wears down the stones that stand in its path, "Street Tracker" is both calming and clarion.

Translating those qualities into a visual piece would, necessarily, demand a certain sensitivity. "For the video, I wanted to continue the collaboration aspect of the Postcards project and invited the mesmerizing aerial silks performer Mimi Ke to work together," Brown notes. "She so gracefully manages to convey this same spirit of openness, freedom, and power that I first saw in that photograph. Making the video of her choreography and performance was extra fun, and I remain mesmerized."

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Pieta Brown's latest album, Postcards, is out now and available at iTunes and Amazon.com

Upcoming tour dates





Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:15 AM

Hear It First: The Mastersons, 'Transient Lullaby'

May 12, 2017

by Elena See, FolkAlley.com

The Mastersons Transient Lullaby 300.jpgIf you're lucky, it'll be one or two songs on an album that instantly grab you and draw you in. Maybe three songs, if you're really fortunate. If all the stars have aligned, Jupiter and Mars share a rising sun and moon phase, and the universe has (somehow, in its infinite wisdom) discerned that you need good music around you, you'll find an album where you connect with half the songs. That's as rare as a blue moon, though - I can count on one hand (ok, maybe two hands) how often that has happened.

That's why Transient Lullaby is such an extraordinary body of work: not one, not two, not even half, but each and every song on The Mastersons' newest release has something that's going to draw you in and keep you there, hanging on to every word, every phrase, every guitar lick or violin line.

And there are a lot of guitars and violins. Mandolins, too. Dobros. Organs. Harmonicas. Other string instruments and percussion instruments galore. In their infinite wisdom, Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore explore a huge sound world, blowing it wide open with lush orchestration, gorgeous string arrangements, a mix of acoustic and electric sounds and spot-on vocal harmonies that, more often than not, don't resolve to the chord you think they're going to resolve to - one more reason to keep listening, as you think to yourself: "What will this duo think to do next?"

That's also a question you might ask them when it comes to their career trajectory - what will The Mastersons think to do next? If they're not touring as a duo, they're on the road with Steve Earle, as part of his band The Dukes. And it's that nonstop motion, exhausting for some, that energizes this husband and wife team. "When you travel like we do, if your antenna is up, there's always something going on around you," reflects guitarist/singer Chris Masterson. "Ideas can be found everywhere. The hardest thing to find is time."

The Mastersons did find the time, though, and used it wisely, creating an album that's filled with images and ideas of wanderlust ("Transient Lullaby"), relationships that come and go ("Highway 1"), devoted lovers (the Neil Young-esque "Fire Escape") and cautious optimism in an uncertain future ("Perfect").

The Mastersons' laid back groove brings to mind the best of 1960s and 70s folk pop while their unusual arrangements and surprising vocal harmonies place them firmly in the present. And it's the unique lens they use to look at the world around them (and us), not to mention their seemingly endless supply of energy, that ensures they'll be singing and playing long into the future.

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'Transient Lullaby' is out on May 19 and is available for pre-order now directly from Red House Records, iTunes, and Amazon.com.

Upcoming tour dates


Posted by Linda Fahey at 11:00 AM

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