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From interviews with musicians and exclusive live recordings to articles and more, Folk Alley Extras present lots of additional stuff that adds value to the folk music you love. Additional Extras are on their way, check back to see what else we have in store.


Featured Extras

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

What happens when two greats join forces? Well, in the case of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, a whole lot of banjo playing. For their eponymous duo album, Fleck says the main conceit was that “it would just be the two of us all the way” — and not just in the studio. They also wanted to be able to tour the project properly, honorably, as a duo.


(recorded in October of 2014 from the stage of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, New York by Beehive Productions.)

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Mustered Courage


Even though bluegrass is an American musical form, a love of mountain music has spread throughout the world. Mustered Courage was formed in Melbourne, Australia, a country with many of the same ethnic roots that spread through Appalachia and the Ozarks. The band - Nick Keeling, Julian Abrahams, Paddy Montgomery and Josh Bridges - infuses their newgrass sound with a contemporary, indie vibe. In autumn 2014, Mustered Courage flew half way around the world to tour the US. They stopped by Folk Alley's studio at WKSU in Kent, Ohio to record a few songs and video performances.


(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Mustered Courage

 

The Howlin' Brothers
The Nashville string band The Howlin' Brothers — Jared Green, Ian Craft and Ben Plasse — got its name from a classical-guitar teacher in Ithaca, N.Y. There, the group was known for its lively performances of old-time and bluegrass music around campfires. Shortly thereafter, The Howlin' Brothers headed to Music City to make a home playing clubs and honky tonks in the area.

Now in its ninth year, the band is out with a new album, ‘Trouble’ — its second produced by The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson. The stopped Folk Alley to play a few tunes from the album.

(recorded at BeeHive Studios in Saranac Lake, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

The Howlin' Brothers

 

Amy Black
Even though Amy Black is based in Boston (aka land of singer/songwriters), her music is firmly infused with the musical influences of a childhood spent in Missouri and Alabama. Her rich vocals are filled with soul and honkytonk spirit that relates both to the churches her minister father served and the heritage of famed Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where both sets of her grandparents welcomed her to their homes. Amy stopped by the Folk Alley studios in Kent, Ohio, to perform a few songs in the fall of 2014.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Amy Black

 

Sean Watkins
Sean Watkins will probably always be described as one-third of the band Nickel Creek. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Sean developed his flatpicking guitar and songwriting skills as the group moved from traditional bluegrass to contemporary roots pop. Watkins released three solo albums while making headlines with his band, working to developed musical relationships outside of the ensemble with artists like Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. Folk Alley interviewed Sean on the stage at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, soon after the release of his All I Do Is Lie, while he was on a reunion tour with Nickel Creek.

(recorded at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights,OH)

Sean Watkins

 

Ashley Condon

Ashley Condon stopped by the Folk Alley studio at WKSU in Kent, Ohio, after opening for singer/songwriter David Francey at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. The concert (on the "Tour de Francey") was the first in the States for the PEI native. Condon and Francey sat down to discuss their collaboration, folk music and writing music. Watch video performances and hear the full interview.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Ashley Condon

 

Della Mae
In a relatively short period of time, Della Mae has become a sensation in the music world. Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent, the band, which formed in Boston, but now calls Nashville home, mines time-honored elements to create music that's unmistakably fresh and contemporary.

'This World Oft Can Be,' Della Mae's Grammy-nominated second album and Rounder debut, shows that like the Avett Brothers, Lumineers, and Punch Brothers, these five multitalented young women are respectful of American musical tradition, but not restricted by it, combining centuries' worth of musical influences with an emotionally tough, undeniably modern songwriting sensibility. Della Mae stopped by the Folk Alley studios in June of 2014. Listen to their interview and watch videos of their in-studio performances below.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Della Mae

 

Ray Bonneville


Ray Bonneville likes to leave a story unfinished. He writes songs that are open-ended, allowing the listeners to come to their own conclusions and become a part of the song in their own way. Out on tour behind the extremely well-received "Easy Gone," Bonneville took a breather at BeeHive Studios in Saranac, New York, to chat with Folk Alley and play a few Bluesy numbers from the new CD. Hear the interview and watch video performances.


(recorded at BeeHive Studios in Saranac Lake, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

Ray Bonneville

 

The Infamous Stringdusters


The Infamous Stringdusters describe themselves as "progressive bluegrass." What that means to them is creating original music inspired by traditional tunes. On their latest CD, they've gone one better by producing the album themselves - accepting all of the responsibility of framing the band's sound. In spring 2014, the band visited BeeHive Studios in Saranac Lake, New York, to discuss the process of making music and to play a few songs.


(recorded at BeeHive Studios in Saranac Lake, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

The Infamous Stringdusters

 

Leyla McCalla


The folk- and roots-music world is full of cross-generational collaboration. But it usually takes the form of folksingers pairing up with other folksingers, borrowing from a long musical tradition. It's another thing altogether to take words written long ago and give them musical life. Leyla McCalla does just that on her new album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes. Though the disc includes a balance of her original arrangements with Haitian folk songs, what's most intriguing is the way she built many of the songs around Hughes' poetry.


(recorded at BeeHive Studios in Saranac Lake, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

Leyla McCalla

 

RUNA

RUNA draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.

RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle. The band often performs with world-renowned, guest musicians, including Ross Holmes (Mumford & Sons, Cadillac Sky, Chessboxer) on fiddle, Matt Mancuso (Cathie Ryan Band) on fiddle, and Isaac Alderson (The Yanks, Comas) on the uilleann pipes, flutes, and whistles.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent, OH)

RUNA

 

The Steel Wheels
In the midst of one of the most cold and snowy winters on record, the Steel Wheels heated up the Folk Alley studios with a few roots-inspired, harmony-driven songs - including the appropriately melancholy "Winter Is Coming." Hear the band speak about the inspiration they find living in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, from their Menonite heritage and other bands they have crossed paths with on the festival route. They host the Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mount Solon, Virginia, where they take pride in reaching out to multiple generations. Stream the full interview and enjoy exclusive video performances.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent, OH)

The Steel Wheels

 

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West are, simply put, two of the most innovative and subtle roots musicians today. Their music draws from old folk sources, but it sounds vibrantly alive. Cahalen Morrison writes songs that sound like a Cormac McCarthy novel: simple, beautifully crafted, and seemingly formed from raw natural elements. Eli West brings jagged, angular arrangements based in bluegrass and old-time, but refracted through a 21st century lens. Like Ansel Adams’ photography, their music is instantly accessible and built from the simplest materials, but at the same time seems to transcend its base fundamentals. Together, Cahalen and Eli tap the root of the old country and bluegrass duets. As the sparse landscapes of Cahalen’s vocals reflect the warm glow of Eli’s voice, it’s clear that this duo was made to sing together.

Recently, the duo stopped by Folk Alley's studios in Saranac Lake, NY to perform songs from their 2014 release, 'I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands.'

(recorded at BeeHive Studios in Saranac Lake, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West

 

Mandolin Orange

The wonder of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz and the music they create as Mandolin Orange is the beauty and ease with which they come together vocally and musically. The songs are haunting in their simplicity - a quality that instantly connects with audiences. Hear an interview with the duo and see performances recorded at the Pond House on a snowy day in Saranac Lake, New York.

(recorded at the Pond House in Saranac Lake, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

Mandolin Orange

 

Run Boy Run

Run Boy Run is a bluegrass band out of Arizona that plays a combination of traditional bluegrass music with original works presented with three part vocal harmony. The members include Matt Rolland on fiddle, Grace Rolland on cello and vocals, Jennifer Sandoval on mandolin and vocals, Bekah Sandoval Rolland on fiddle, guitar and vocals and Jesse Allen on bass. Their recent appearances on 'A Prairie Home Companion' have brought them national attention. Listen for Matt Watroba's interview with the band and enjoy performance videos from the Folk Alley studios.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Run Boy Run

 

Qristina & Quinn Bachand
Qristina & Quinn Bachand have a musical bond that only siblings can share. The Canadian duo create music that is challenging yet energetic, refreshing and fun. Listen for Matt Watroba's interview with them and enjoy performance videos from the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference in Toronto, ON.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Qristina & Quinn Bachand

 

Dry Bones

Folk Alley’s haul of outstanding Sessions recordings from the 2013 Folk Alliance International conference in Toronto continued with Dry Bones, a string-based quartet featuring humor and virtuosity. The members of this musical collective - Leonard Podolak, Nathan Rogers, JD Edwards and Gilles Fourneir - have all found success on their own – with this project they explore their work through the eyes of their compatriots (the musicians sing songs written by other members for a new perspective). The interview and videos were captured in collaboration with BeeHive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Dry Bones

 

James Keelaghan
James Keelaghan takes traditional folk and brings it into the current century. The Canadian singer/songwriter tells stories that are designed to be passed from one generation to the next - just as folk songs have been carried on for centuries. Listen for Matt Watroba's interview with Keelaghan and enjoy performance videos from the Folk Alley studios.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

James Keelaghan

 

Joy Kills Sorrow


The members of Joy Kills Sorrow say that they found each other through the acoustic music community – a group of like-minded musicians who bonded over mandolin and upright bass. Now, they’re kind of, sorta based in Boston (with a satellite in Toronto) while creating beautiful and intimate story-centered songs. The band – Matthew Arcara, Emma Beaton, Wes Corbett, Jacob Jolliff and Zoe Guigueno – stopped by the Folk Alley studios in August of 2013.


(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Joy Kills Sorrow

 

Mike + Ruthy

He grew up listening to ska-punk and alternative rock radio, dreaming of becoming a songwriter on the political edge. She was raised at the intersection of folk and swing, daughter of fiddle master Jay Ungar and country songwriter Lyn Hardy. They met in NYC, just out of college, and went on to found “subversive acoustic stringband” The Mammals. When The Mammals split up, and they married, they spent their honeymoon in the studio, recording a debut duo album aptly called 'The Honeymoon Agenda.'

After thousands of concerts across tens-of-thousands of miles, Ruth Ungar & Mike Merenda have emerged as one of acoustic America’s most revered musical duos.

Recently, we caught up with Mike & Ruthy at their Humble Abode Studio in West Hurley, New York to shoot this video session.

(recorded at the Humble Abode Studio in West Hurley, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

Mike + Ruthy

 

The Fretless
Another wonderful Canadian band that we met at 2013 Folk Alliance conference in Toronto, the Fretless are from Vancouver Island. The quartet performed a few of their songs - captured on video by Beehive Productions - and talked to Matt Watroba about their music and inspirations. The group is fiddle-large, with each member playing stringed instruments (violin, viola and cello) and mixing genres to create a style that is unusual, engaging and innovative.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

The Fretless

 

Fish and Bird
Folk Alley recorded Fish & Bird in Toronto, ON, at the 2013 Folk Alliance conference - a great opportunity to meet and greet Canadian artists. The group is part of a very active music scene in Western Canada. The duo - Taylor Ashton (banjo, guitar, vocals) and Adam Iredale-Gray (fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocals) - started recording together, and then acquired a band to make their recorded sound into a live act. Hear the interview with Matt Watroba and see performance videos captured with help from our friends at Beehive Studios.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Fish and Bird

 

Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac
Cape Breton Island is a relatively tiny area on the northern tip of Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada, but it is the birthplace of an amazing amount of Scottish-flavored, fiddle-driven folk music. During the 2013 Folk Alliance conference in Toronto, ON, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIssac visited with Matt Watroba and the Folk Alley team. Watch video performances captured with the help of Beehive Productions and hear stories of how the old Gaelic ways still find their way into Lamond and MacIssac's music.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac

 

Susan Werner
Susan Werner has earned her connection to the farm support movement honestly, growing up in Iowa as part of a generations-deep farm family. Her new collection, Hayseed, is made up of songs about the intrinsic bond between the land, those who grow our food, and the world that benefits from their sweat and toil. Susan stopped by the Folk Alley studios for a conversation with Matt Watroba centered on the very basic, and ultimately complicated, topic of food and agriculture. Hear the discussion and see video performances.

(recorded in the Folk Alley studios at WKSU 89.7 FM, in Kent,OH)

Susan Werner

 

The Howlin' Brothers
Ithaca, New York, may seem like an unlikely spot for a group of roots musicians to start picking around a campfire, but the city is an interesting cross-culture of rural New York and the intellectual spires of Ithaca College and Cornell University. Before moving to Nashville, the Howlin' Brothers met in Ithaca, pulling inspiration from the neo-old time music in the Oscar-winning film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," including songs from the late John Hartford. The Howlin' Brothers stopped by Folk Alley's studio in Kent State University's Franklin Hall for a chat and to play a few songs. Hear the interview and watch video performances.

(recorded in Kent State University's Franklin Hall)

The Howlin' Brothers

 

Amelia Curran


Amelia Curran is from St. John's, Newfoundland, and she'll tell you so. In her visit with the Folk Alley team in Toronto for the 2013 Folk Alliance conference, she muses on her career as a singer/songwriter - which started with silly songs about boys and has progressed as she moved to a place where she realized a need to have a lasting impact on the world. Amelia speaks about the magic of Newfoundland as she introduces her songs. Enjoy a very charming chat and see videos captured with help from our friends at Beehive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Amelia Curran

 

Aoife O'Donovan


Poor Aoife O'Donovan. It took putting together a solo album for people to start pronouncing her name correctly (for the record, it's EEE-fah). The Crooked Still frontwoman, Sometymes Why collaborator, Goat Rodeo Sessions Grammy winner, and in-demand vocalist is out on her own in support of her first solo effort, 'Fossils.' Aoife visited with Folk Alley during a stop at the Humble Abode Studio in West Hurley, NY, and left behind exclusive performance videos. Check out what all the fuss is about!

(recorded at the Humble Abode Studio in West Hurley, NY by BeeHive Productions.)

Aoife O'Donovan

 

The Bills
Adrian Dolan of The Bills describes the band's sound as a "kitchen acoustic, global jam exploration" of a variety of Americana, roots and world music influences. The Bills are known for their improvisational, party band style - a mix that pulled in fans even before the group from western Canada started focusing on their own original music. The songs they performed for Folk Alley at Folk Alliance in Toronto certainly proved his point to Matt Watroba. Explore music from The Bills and enjoy video performances captured with the help of Beehive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

The Bills

 

Carrie Rodriguez
Carrie Rodriguez has been a long-time favorite of Folk Alley from her early days touring with Chip Taylor. The fiddler/singer/songwriter is back on the road, this time in support of 'Give Me All You Got' - a collection of songs that she hopes represent her growing songwriting skills and the energy she brings to the stage during her live shows. Carrie and Luke Jacobs visited with Matt Watroba at Folk Alley's performance studio at Kent State University's Franklin Hall. Hear them discuss her progression as an artist and watch videos of the pair in action.

(recorded in Kent State University's Franklin Hall)

Carrie Rodriguez

 

Laura Cortese


Laura Cortese is at the center of a collaborative string-based community. Her recording projects have had a definite group vibe – bringing together different combinations of very talented musicians, including some of the finest string players around. When Laura sat down with Matt Watroba at Folk Alliance in Toronto, she brought along Mariel Vandersteel and Valerie Thompson, representing the next generation of artists who are just as comfortable playing in a variety of bands as they are assembling their own CDs. The group discussed creating strong fiddle music and the special energy a female-centered ensemble adds. Experience the trio's musical power and enjoy video performances captured with the help of Beehive Productions in Toronto.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Laura Cortese

 

David Francey
Singer/songwriter David Francey has long been a Folk Alley favorite (heck, he even headlined our 5th anniversary party at Cain Park). His music is the best kind of contemporary folk - taking his own story of immigrating from Scotland to Canada and the many lives he lived before becoming a professional musician and turning them into personal songs. Francey's work connects with listeners on a variety of levels, all of them sincere and authentic. His newest CD is So Say We All.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

David Francey

 

The Stacks
Tania Elizabeth (of The Duhks) and Andy Stack met at a Prohibition-themed bar in NYC and connected over a love of blues and roots music. The pair, touring as The Stacks, sat down with Matt Watroba in Toronto during Folk Alliance for a chat about symbiotic relationships and the joys of music. Still in the excitement of the beginnings of their duo, they bring their favorite songs and songwriters to the mix. Hear the result and see videos captured with the help of Beehive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

The Stacks

 

Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line


As a solo artist, band member and, now, band leader, singer/songwriter Nora Jane Struthers has musically examined the connection between contemporary bluegrass and story-based folk songs. Visiting Folk Alliance with her new band, the Party Line, Struthers tells Matt Watroba how the group plans on balancing a modern, technology-filled life with the authenticity of live music. Hear songs from their CD Carnival and enjoy video performances captured with the help of Beehive Productions in Toronto.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line

 

The Milk Carton Kids
Singer/songwriters Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were working as solo artists when they joined forces and, much like Mentos in Diet Coke, their collaboration caused magic to happen. The Milk Carton Kids sound is reminiscent of acoustic guitar-driven folk harmonies of duos like Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers. But, Pattengale and Ryan’s music is stealthily contemporary – adding lush melodies to modern stories richly complimenting each other. Matt Watroba sat down to chat with Pattengale and Ryan at Folk Alliance 2013. Hear this in-depth interview and watch video performances shot in Toronto by Folk Alley and BeeHive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

The Milk Carton Kids

 

Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer
Recorded at the 2013 Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Matt Watroba talks to Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer about their new collaboration, 'Child Ballads.' The pair came from across the country, Mitchell from Vermont and Hamer from Colorado, joining forces in Brooklyn and coming together over their fondness for traditional folk music from the British Isles. Their newest work was inspired in part by Martin Carthy and the CD was released in the UK ahead of its US dates, building its nest in Britain before letting it fly off into the greater world. Hear this in-depth interview and watch video performances shot in Toronto by Folk Alley and BeeHive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

 

Pharis & Jason Romero
Recorded at the 2013 Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Matt Watroba chats with Pharis and Jason Romero. The couple - who are joined in life as well as onstage - live in tiny Horsefly, British Columbia, where they create great music and Jason builds custom banjos. The duo has drawn attention to their finely crafted, contemporary old-time songs and earned the titled New/Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award and Americana Album of the Year at the 2012 Independent Music Awards. Hear Pharis tell the most romantic story in folk music and watch video performances shot in Toronto by Folk Alley and BeeHive Productions.

(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)

Pharis & Jason Romero

 

Brown Bird


Brown Bird may be best described as a musical project, more than as a band. The group has emerged in a variety of incarnations – now existing as the minimalist ensemble of David Lamb and MorganEve Swain (with instrumental reminiscent of a one-man band). The duo has been influenced by a variety of world music and uses their tight harmonies to add the spirit of these sounds to an Americana roots flavor. In this interview with Matt Watroba, he says Brown Bird's music seems to have "ghosts" of other places and times drifting through its songs.


(recorded in Kent State University's Franklin Hall)

Brown Bird

 

The Stray Birds


The Stray Birds consist of three members who can each play at least three instruments. Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charles Muench came to Folk Alley to chat with Jim Blum about what inspires and influences them. In the interview, De Vitry reveals the story behind the song "Wildflower Honey," which she wrote on a train going from Boston to Providence and dedicated to her younger sister. Also during their time with Folk Alley, Craven and Muench tell listeners why they are inspired by the people of Appalachia - and music other than folk music. Hear The Stray Birds also play a few other songs, including a unique Fiddle Tune Medley, in their full interview with Jim Blum!


recorded in Kent State University's Franklin Hall

The Stray Birds

 

Rose Cousins

Singer/songwriter Rose Cousins comes all the way from Canada to chat with Matt Watroba... about being Canadian! The pair discuss her path from PEI potato farm to award-winning musician. Cousins, who is familiar with traveling through the U.S., has made a second home in Boston and wrote much of her latest album in a cabin north of New Hampshire. Hear the full interview, with performances of a few of her songs, and see video performances recorded at Kent State University's Franklin Hall.


Recorded in Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Rose Cousins

 

Annalivia


Annalivia isn't a person - it's a Boston-based bluesgrassy, Celtic-ish quartet that pulled its name from James Joyce. Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen, Mariel Vandersteel (Emerald Rae missed the fun) call their mix "new acoustic folk" - a blending of cultural traditions sparked by the spread of recorded music around the planet. This is music that is true folk, shared songs that the group started playing in local jams. Folk Alley's Jim Blum welcomed Annalivia to Folk Alley's studios in Franklin Hall at Kent State University for a chat about the oxymoron of contemporary traditional music. Hear the conversation, listen to songs and see video performances in Folk Alley Sessions.


Recorded in Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Annalivia

 

Peter Case
Jim Blum talks with legendary singer/songwriter Peter Case about getting calls from George Martin, leaving Buffalo for California, a Peter Case tribute collection, the new film about him and the musical journey that has taken him through blues, punk, pop and folk.


recorded in Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Peter Case

 

Missy Raines and the New Hip

As a seven-time winner of the IBMA Award for Best Bass Player, Missy Raines is one of the most-recognized women in bluegrass. Now, she is building her name as a bandleader with the New Hip - putting together a band that reflects her personal blend of roots-based sound. Missy and crew stopped by the Folk Alley studios for a conversation with music about the path she's taken to her current success.

Missy Raines and the New Hip

 

Ellis Paul

As an artist, Ellis Paul was born out of the fertile Boston singer/songwriter scene. The city has long been home to a host of very talented folk musicians, making those who rise to the top really the best of the best. Paul's songs are full of personal moments that touch the universal human condition. Matt Watroba steps up to interview Ellis about songwriting, social work, Woody Guthrie and more in the Folk Alley studios.

Ellis Paul

 

Jonathan Edwards
Singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards has had a four-decade career of writing and performing songs that speak to the human condition. A folk musician that turned out the massive Top-40 hit "Sunshine," Edwards is the true definition of a traveling troubadour. Learn more about his adventures along the way in an interview with Folk Alley's Jim Blum.


(This session was recorded at the studios of WKSU.)

Jonathan Edwards

 

Girlyman
The three founding members of Girlyman (Doris Muramatsu, Nate Borofsky, and Tylan Greenstein) have spent more than a decade and singing harmony together - from early days in tiny coffeehouses, through long opening runs with the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams, all the way to festival main stages and the country’s premier acoustic venues. The band, now a quartet with the addition of former Po’ Girl drummer JJ Jones in 2009, feared for its future when Muramatsu was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2010.

(This session was recorded at Kent State University's Franklin Hall.)

Girlyman

 

Bonnie Raitt - 2012 Americana Music Association Keynote Interview


In Nashville for the Americana Music Awards (where she was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance), Bonnie Raitt sat down with Ann Powers for a long conversation about the Blues, her storied history as a performing songwriter and all of the influences that helped make her an internationally-recognized multi-Grammy Award winner (including the Album of the Year Grammy for Nick of Time. Folk Alley recorded the in-depth discussion in front of a live audience.


Bonnie Raitt - 2012 Americana Music Association Keynote Interview

 

Good Lovelies

With tight vocal harmonies, The Good Lovelies have a sound that may take listeners back to the girl groups of the Big Band Era. However, Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore bring a breezy, fresh, folkie feeling to their Canadian trio - offering well-crafted songwriting on top of the harmony mix. What started off as a one-off singing Christmas music has turned into a delightful long-term collaboration, which has produced two Juno Award nominations and one win for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year: Group.

The Good Lovelies spoke to Jim Blum on the stage of Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as part of a Folk Alley-hosted summer concert.


(This session was recorded at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.)

Good Lovelies

 

The Devil Makes Three
Based on their instruments they look like an old time string band; based on their appearance they look like they might play punk music. The answer lies somewhere in between. Pete Bernhard (guitar) and Cooper McBean (banjo) grew up in New England to parents who liked ragtime and old blues. The two moved to Santa Cruz temporarily, but they met Lucia Turino (upright bass) and The Devil Makes Three was born. (For our session, Adam Chilenski filled in for Lucia who had just broken her arm).


(This session was recorded at Kent State University's Franklin Hall.)

The Devil Makes Three

 

The Carper Family
Born in 2010 at Austin's legendary Hole in the Wall Bar, the Carper Family has brought together three of Austin's most talented young country and bluegrass singers and pickers... Melissa Carper [vocals, bass], Beth Chrisman [vocals, fiddle], and Jenn Miori [vocals, guitar] each grew up singing and playing music with their families. By the time they created their new “family band”, each member had already led her own band and sat in with some of Austin's finest musicians. But this particular collaboration has blended stunning three part harmonies into the finest old country, old-time, bluegrass, and swing tunes.

The Carper Family

 

Joe Pug
'Man of the People' Joe Pug sits down with Folk Alley’s Jim Blum to talk about the all-important act of connecting with the audience, the fine balance between art and commerce and his zest for touring. Hear the interview and see videos of songs performed by Pug and his band in Folk Alley’s studios at Franklin Hall at Kent State University.

Joe Pug

 

John Fullbright
A rising star in the Southwest U.S. music scene, singer/songwriter John Fullbright stopped by Folk Alley's satellite studio in Austin, Texas to play a few songs and talk with host Matt Watroba about ignoring labels and life on the road as a touring musician.

Recorded Live via KMFA in Austin, TX

John Fullbright

 

Joe Crookston
Ohio native Joe Crookston has come a long way from listening to weekend folk music on the radio while studying classical guitar. The closet folkie has emerged full-blown singer/songwriter, winning prizes and recognition for songs that expertly reflect the human condition. Crookston stopped by the Folk Alley studios to play a few songs and speak with Jim Blum about the magic of creating music.

Joe Crookston

 

April Verch
April Verch has been writing fiddle tunes since she was 11 years-old. And, that's after she started her performing career as a step dancer. On tour in support of her eighth CD, Verch and Cody Walters stopped by the Folk Alley studios for an interview with Jim Blum. Verch and Walters perform original tunes and discuss the differences in old-time fiddle styles in her native Canada and across North America.


recorded in Franklin Hall, Kent State University

April Verch

 

David Bromberg
In the '60s and '70s, David Bromberg built a career as a skilled and talented guitar player. After performing as a sideman for some of the leading folk artists, he established himself as a headliner while still playing behind, producing and writing with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, The Eagles and others. Then, in 1980, he walked away from it all. He created an entirely new life - launching a company that repairs and brokers the sale of violins. Fast forward and David Bromberg is back on stage - still as wicked good as he was his first time around. The David Bromberg Quartet stopped by the Folk Alley Studios for a chat with Jim Blum and to play a few songs.


recorded in Franklin Hall, Kent State University

David Bromberg

 

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band are exceptional musicians who you may have heard on 'A Prairie Home Companion,' on their own holiday specials (heard on public radio stations across the country) and on film soundtracks such as 'Legends of the Fall' and 'Brother's Keeper.' Millions were entranced by the music they did for Ken Burns' PBS documentary on the Civil War, which features Jay's "Ashokan Farewell" as its signature tune. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy. Jay and Molly also run beloved fiddle and dance camps in the Catskills for musicians and lovers of traditional music. The family band, which also includes Ruthie Ungar and Mike Merenda of The Mammals, stopped by the Folk Alley studios for a chat and to perform a few songs.

recorded in Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band

 

Carolina Chocolate Drops
Before going onstage as the opening act for the 45th Kent State Folk Festival, the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops stopped by the Folk Alley studios to play a few songs and chat with Jim Blum. Singer Rhiannon Giddens met and joined forces with Dom Flemmons at the first Black Banjo Gathering in 2005. The event celebrated the banjo's historical African roots and led the pair down a path to a multi-instrumental interpretation of contemporary and folk music with the energy of a new generation. The group on tour also included Hubby Jenkins and Leyla McCalla.

Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Carolina Chocolate Drops

 

Dala


Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, the singer/songwriting duo that make up Dala, are as charming as they are talented. The Canadian pair has crossed paths with Folk Alley before - they performed at the Newport Folk Festival in 2009 - and this time they made their way to our studios in Kent, Ohio, for a lovely chat about their path to becoming full-time musicians, being nominated for the Juno Award, family influences, and much more - including an encounter with a grizzly bear.


Dala

 

Blame Sally
Blame Sally developed a following performing in and around San Francisco while its members - Monica Pasqual, Renee Harcourt, Pam Delgado and Jeri Jones - spent their days as 9-to-5ers. After several major life events, the band made a decision to go all in and take the show on the road. Now, everyone has a chance to enjoy the powerful sound of Blame Sally. Listen to the interview with Jim Blum.

Blame Sally

 

Lynn Miles
Juno Award winner Lynn Miles may be one of the most prolific singer/songwriters working today. Her intricate lyrics and three-octave range combine to create music that finds a place in listeners hearts and heads. Lynn recently stopped by the Folk Alley studios for a personal conversation with Matt Watroba about what it really takes to be a successful songwriter.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Lynn Miles

 

Natalia Zukerman
Even though she comes from a family of musicians, Natalia Zukerman's career as a singer/songwriter was not a sure thing. After her graduation from Oberlin College in Ohio, Natalia started out as a graphic designer. But she kept writing songs - which is good for us! Learn more about Natalia's journey and enjoy a few of her songs as she stopped by to chat with Jim Blum.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Natalia Zukerman

 

David Wax Museum
David Wax Museum isn't so much a band as a Mexo-Americana, roots music movement with David Wax and Suz Slezak at its core. The pair are on the road, joined by different musicians as they travel across the country. They visited the Folk Alley studios - with David's cousin Jordan on accordion - for an interview with Jim Blum and to shoot a few performance videos for your enjoyment.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

David Wax Museum

 

Frank Vignola
Guitarist Frank Vignola has been mastering his craft since before he was big enough for a standard-sized instrument. Known as one of the best in the business, he's played with names like Les Paul, Ringo Starr, Donald Fagen and Mark O'Connor. The native New Yorker stopped by the Folk Alley studios to tell Jim Blum the benefits of beating the pavement in search of a gig and developing a recognizable sound.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Frank Vignola

 

Mollie O'Brien
Mollie O'Brien has long been a favorite on the touring folk circuit, performing solo or with her Grammy Award-winning brother, Tim. And her voice is familiar to public radio fans as part of Garrison Keillor's Hopeful Gospel Quartet. Now, she is on the road with her husband, bassist Rich Moore, and the pair stopped by the Folk Alley studios to chat with Jim Blum.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Mollie O'Brien

 

Sara Watkins
The long-term hiatus of newgrass phenoms Nickel Creek means that fiddler/singer Sara Watkins is now on her own, striking out on her terms and developing as a solo artist. Sara visited the Folk Alley studios with her brother (and fellow Nickel Creek alum), Sean, to talk with Jim Blum about the many changes in her life and to play a few songs. Hear the interview and see the exclusive videos.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Sara Watkins

 

Sam Bush
Sam Bush is a hero to multiple generations of folk fans - from those that remember his breakthrough work with the New Grass Revival to his current status as king of the summer festival circuit. His enthusiasm for the music and his continuing efforts to stretch the reach of the mandolin (plus the fact that he's a nice guy) make him one of the most popular folk artists working today. Sam and bandmate Stephen Mougin stopped by Folk Alley to talk about baseball, the Nashville flood and life on the road.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Sam Bush

 

Ellis Paul
Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices in American songwriting. He was a principle leader in the wave of singer/songwriters that emerged from the Boston folk scene, creating a movement that revitalized the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk pop style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 1990s. Hear him chat with Jim Blum about building a life as a folk musician and see video performances recorded in Kent State University's Franklin Hall.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Ellis Paul

 

Karan Casey
Some musicians have road managers, drivers, sound technicians, and stage managers. Our little corner of the music world has fewer barriers. Karan Casey herself, perhaps Ireland’s best singer these days, hopped out of the van and came to the front desk: “Would you please let Jim know we’re here?” Then with her forever smile, she offered to help carry one of my bags. If the rest of the music business was like this, everybody would be smiling.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Karan Casey

 

Shannon McNally
Even though Shannon McNally was born in Long Island, New York, her guitar-driven bluesy folk really took flight in New Orleans. While out on the road with her band, Hot Sauce, and her baby daughter, McNally visited Folk Alley to talk to Jim Blum about her musical roots and personal journey. Hear the interview and see video performances by the band.

Recorded at Franklin Hall, Kent State University

Shannon McNally

 

Madison Violet
Madison Violet have toured internationally and received nominations for East Coast Music Awards. They've shared stages with the likes of Ron Sexsmith and The Indigo Girls, but if you haven't heard of them yet it's likely because they've been winning over fans the good old-fashioned way, one gig at a time.

Madison Violet

 

Solas
Jim Blum interviews U.S.-based Celtic band Solas as they tour in support of "The Turning Tide," their new CD. Hear what they have to say about contemporary Celtic music and watch exclusive video.

Solas

 

The Greencards
The Greencards may play Americana music, but their contemporary bluegrassy sound was born of a foreigner's interpretation of classic country - filtered by their upbringing in Australia (Carol and Kym) and the UK (Eamon). The trio came together in Austin and formed a musical partnership that drew attention from Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson (who asked the group to join them on one of their summer ballpark tours) and the Recording Academy, who recognized them with Grammy nominations - including this year for Best Country Instrumental.

The Greencards

 

Winterbloom

Winterbloom

 

Steeleye Span

It’s uncommon for traditional music to become the mainstream. But when English folk/rockers Steeleye Span reached major Top of the Pops success in the mid 1970s, they introduced the music to a whole new generation of people. The band celebrates their 40th Anniversary with a new album due out in October of 2009 called Cogs, Wheels and Lovers. Folk Alley traveled to The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in September of 2009 to speak with Maddy Prior and Peter Knight from Steeleye Span.

Steeleye Span

 

Rhythm Angels

 Like many professional singer/songwriters, Rebecca Folsom and Celeste Krenz have done their fair share of writing songs for other people. The two had different starting points (Folsom from Colorado, Krenz from North Dakota), but both ended up in Nashville – aka Music City USA – where they met during a musical round robin and discovered that their harmonies blended well together. As the Rhythm Angels, they are extending the experiment and taking time out of their solo careers to try life on the road as a duo for a while.Hear Jim Blum's interview with The Rhythm Angels and watch video of the group shot in Kent State University's Franklin Hall.

Rhythm Angels

 

The Dixie Bee-Liners
A talented sextet filled with music veterans, The Dixie Bee-Liners are proof positive that youth is welcome in the next wave of bluegrass. With their blend of voices and energetic performance skills, the Bee-Liners offer Jim Blum something to talk about as they play a few of their own songs in an exclusive interview and video session.

The Dixie Bee-Liners

 

Stephen Seifert & Jerry Rockwell
Jerry Rockwell and Stephen Seifert are at the heart of a renaissance centered on the mountain dulcimer. The stringed instrument, which is descended from a fretted zither, sometimes suffers from a lack of respect - something these musicians are out to change. Along with performances of iconic tunes, Folk Alley's Jeff St. Clair talks to Rockwell and Seifert about the past, present and future of the mountain lap dulcimer.

Stephen Seifert & Jerry Rockwell

 

John Gorka
John Gorka could be the standard bearer of the contemporary singer/songwriter. Infused with humor and touching personal moments, Gorka's music focuses on the heart with an honesty that connects with listeners on many levels. A long-time favorite at folk venues across the country, he continues to surprise as he incorporates changes in his own life into his songs as he embraces middle-age - along with many of his fans.

John Gorka

 

The Duhks
The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Duhks have always been die-hard folkies deep down inside, but that hasn't stopped them from evolving the music with their own unique style and approach. Whether it's a French-Canadian song, a set of Celtic reels, an original composition, or even a Led Zeppelin song, The Duhks not only put their own stamp on it, but they handle the material with ease - respecting the past, but always look towards the future. Their latest offering "Fast-Paced World" (2008), the first Duhks record to feature Sarah and Christian Dugas, is an album that showcases the band's new found freedom and confidence. Music is not just a passion for this band, it's a way of life.

The Duhks

 

The Holy Modal Rounders
Folk Alley's Chris Boros profiles The Holy Modal Rounders, one of the first psychedelic/folk groups - featuring interviews with founding member Peter Stampfel, Dave Reisch (who joined the band in 1971) and Paul Lovelace, co-director of a recent documentary on the band called Bound to Lose.

The Holy Modal Rounders

 

Greensky Bluegrass
Greensky Bluegrass is a young quintet from the prairies of Southwest Michigan, proving that good roots music need not be born in the mountains of Appalachia. The inners of the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition stopped by the Folk Alley studios to chat with Jim Blum and play a few songs.

Greensky Bluegrass

 

Folk Alliance 2009 - Roger McGuinn Keynote & Interview
Since 1989, folk musicians and members of the folk community have been gathering for the annual Folk Alliance International Conference. This year's conference, held in Memphis, Tennessee, featured a keynote presentation by Folk Den creator and legendary member of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn, followed by an interview with renowned music journalist, Dave Marsh.

Folk Alliance 2009 - Roger McGuinn Keynote & Interview

 

Tim O'Brien
Tim O'Brien is still going strong decades into his career as a singer/songwriter steeped in the musical traditions that form the foundation of American folk. With his newgrass band, Hot Rize, and as a duo with his sister, Mollie, O'Brien honed his skill as a performer (on mandolin, fiddle and almost any stringed instrument) and a crafter of songs that speak to the past, present and future.

Tim O'Brien

 

Carrie Rodriguez
Fiddler, singer/songwriter Carrie Rodriguez sits down with Jim Blum to talk about what it's like to have your parents blessing to seek out a life as touring musician. The rising Americana star stopped by the Folk Alley studios to offer a glimpse of the magic that turns a young violinist into a first-class performer and songwriter and the musical face of tomorrow.

Carrie Rodriguez

 

Robin & Linda Williams
Although Robin and Linda Williams may be best known for their many appearances on Garrison Keillor's popular public radio program A Prairie Home Companion, they are talented singer/songwriters who had already established a touring career when Keillor first called 30 years ago. Robin and Linda visited the Folk Alley studios with Their Fine Band (and their little dog) to play a few songs and talk to Jim Blum about life as a duo on and off stage.

Robin & Linda Williams

 

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Folk Alley has been playing music by Jessica Lea Mayfield since she was known as Chittlin’ and was still performing with her brother, David (aka Bassboy), and her parents in the family bluegrass band, One Way Rider. Mayfield has shed her childhood nickname and expanded her repertoire to include a richer, Americana sound - crafting songs that offer real poetry and thoughtful lyrics.

Listen to Folk Alley DJ, Jeff St. Clair's interview with Jessica Lea Mayfield.

Jessica Lea Mayfield

 

Rhonda Vincent
Seven-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Rhonda Vincent has been performing top-level bluegrass since she was a child in her family's band, The Sally Mountain Show, in Missouri. As one of the most-recognizable names in bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage travel the world as ambassadors of American roots music and the face of Martha White Flour.

Rhonda Vincent

 

Janis Ian
Since the time of her first hit, "Society's Child," at age 15, Janis Ian hasn't stopped moving. Along with her powerful songwriting, Ian has been on the cutting edge of using the Internet to promote her music. She stopped by the Folk Alley studios while promoting her new book, Society's Child: My Autobiography, and companion "best of" 2-CD collection.

Janis Ian

 

Jorma Kaukonen
Thanks to his time with Rock Hall inductee Jefferson Airplane, Jorma Kaukonen quickly rose to prominence as one of the best guitar players to rise out of the '60s music scene in San Franciso. But Jorma was a roots music guy at heart and left the band to get more bluesy with Jack Casady and Hot Tuna.

He brought Barry Mitterhoff along for an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion and Jim caught up with them before the show.

Jorma Kaukonen

 

The Everybodyfields
Tennessee’s everybodyfields, aka Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews, are rapidly gaining a reputation as the front-runners of the newest generation of the alt-country movement. They offer melancholic interpretations of universal human stories set to achingly beautiful melodies, and put them to life using traditional folk instruments.

Jim interviewed Sam and Jill before one of their shows, and you can hear it here.

The Everybodyfields

 

Ray Bonneville
Blues troubadour Ray Bonneville was born in Quebec but has lived everywhere from Alaska to Boston. However, he credits New Orleans the most for influencing his laid-back, groovy sound that is at the core of his music. Ray stopped by the Folk Alley studios to chat with Jim Blum about his life as a wandering minstrel, the people he meets along the way, and the soulful music they've inspired.

Hear Jim's interview and watch video of Ray in action.

Ray Bonneville

 

Diana Jones
Although My Remembrance of You is singer/ songwriter Diana Jones' first full-length recording, she has been performing and creating music for a decade. Before she turned her attention to music, Jones was focused on discovering her life – leaving home at an early age and meeting her birth family.

Hear Jim Blum's interview with Jones and see video of her performing in Folk Alley's Studio C.

Diana Jones

 

The Waybacks
The Waybacks are a roots-based band with the heart of San Francisco as its driver. Formed around the considerable talents of frontman guitarist James Nash, the Waybacks sound is much more expansive than its bluegrass instrumentation suggests. A personnel shake-up has added a big twist to the group - throwing the huge talent of Warren Hood's fiddle to the mix of Nash, drummer Chuck Hamilton and bass player Joe Kyle Jr. Watch video of the band in the Folk Alley studio!

The Waybacks

 

David Wilcox
David Wilcox is unashamedly a singer/ songwriter. He believes in music as a connecting force, as an energy that comes from the heart and tells a story. Wilcox stopped by the Folk Alley studios and spoke with Jim Blum about the mysteries of the songwriting process, finding inspiration in the world (including his experience touring with his family in an Airstream trailer) and approaching the creative process with a feeling of innocence.

David Wilcox

 

Grada
Grada is part of a new generation in roots-based Irish music artists. Like bands who have stretched and adapted bluegrass in the U.S., Grada uses Celtic instrumentation and rhythms to create a new, contemporary sound. The band visited the Folk Alley studios while in town performing at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to discuss their musical evolution with Jim Blum. They also played a few songs with help from Jim, a cardboard box and some duct tape.

Grada

 

The Polyjesters
What's not to love about the Polyjesters? These guys are complete individuals, Canadians who moved to Europe and busked their way into a music career. The quartet's nucleus is brothers Sheldon and Jason Valleau who have taken early exposure to jazz and swing music to create a sound that is fresh while being reminiscent of another time. They stopped by Folk Alley to chat with Jim Blum about old time music and finding their way as professional musicians.

The Polyjesters

 

Eliza Gilkyson
Singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson began her musical career at the knee of her father, Terry Gilkyson, also a professional musician. She became popular playing the Texas-Arizona circuit in the U.S. Southwest while she raised her family, honing her skills as a performer and writer and developing a desire to make a difference through her music. For her conversation with Jim Blum, she is joined by ace accompanist Nina Gerber on guitar and Nina's dog, Tootsie.

Eliza Gilkyson

 

Laurie Lewis
Fiddler and bluegrass song stylist Laurie Lewis has been wowing audiences for more than 30 years. A Grammy Award-winner and two-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Lewis is best known for her instrumental skill and as the best female interpreter of the Ralph Stanley vocal style. Her career now is equally focused on touring, recording and teaching the next generation of bluegrass singers. West Coast-based, she is also an environmental activist and green educator.

Laurie Lewis

 

Peggy Seeger
For singer, songwriter, activist Peggy Seeger, a life with folk music was most likely a foregone conclusion. Her mother, Ruth Porter Crawford, was a composer who transcribed folk songs for the Library of Congress. Her brothers, Pete and Mike, are considered among the folk elite. Peggy met collaborator and partner Ewan MacColl through their shared love of the music. With a catalog of politically and personally charged songs to her name, Seeger continues to be a powerful presence into her 70s.

Peggy Seeger

 

John Cowan
As a member of the New Grass Revival, John Cowan helped reinvent and reinvigorate American roots music. Starting in the '70s, New Grass spanned the gap between bluegrass and contemporary country, paying respect to tradition while connecting with a younger generation. As a solo artist and with the John Cowan Band, Cowan has continued his path as a skillful musical innovator, once more mining the richness of the American acoustic idiom. He visited the Folk Alley studios with his band to chat and play a song or two.

John Cowan

 

Lissa Schneckenburger
Lissa Schneckenburger grew up in Maine listening to a variety of folk music. When she was still quite young, Schneckenburger begged her parents to let her learn to fiddle and she’s been playing ever since. She trained at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and began touring even before she graduated. Now, Schneckenburger is out on the road nearly full time, gathering fans and expanding her repertoire of trad-based songs. Listen to her perform and talk to Folk Alley’s Jim Blum.

Lissa Schneckenburger

 

Merlefest 2007

Merlefest 2007

 

Fairport Convention
The legendary Fairport Convention is celebrating their 40th Anniversary with a new album called Sense of Occasion. The band single-handedly created the English Folk/Rock genre in 1969 with the seminal Liege & Lief album—recently named one of the most important folk recordings of all time by the BBC. The band celebrates this 40-year milestone at their Cropredy Festival, August 9-11. Recently, the band stopped by the Folk Alley studios. Listen to Fairport Convention’s exclusive Folk Alley session recording.

Fairport Convention

 

Susan Werner
Susan Werner is not an artist who is content to let moss grow on her musical career. After releasing a series of well-received CDs as a folk singer/songwriter, Susan made a turn for the dramatic with 2004's I Can’t Be New, a collection of self-penned torch songs reminiscent of standards from the American songbook. Now, she has returned with The Gospel Truth, an album of songs for the church of life that celebrate praise music while questioning the very nature of faith.

Susan Werner

 

Antje Duvekot
Antje Duvekot is a rising star on the singer/ songwriter circuit. Her music combines strong melody with true insight into people and the unexpected twists and turns that life often takes. She learned about being tossed to the wind when she was 14 and her mother remarried – uprooting her from an idyllic German childhood for a new language and a different culture halfway around the world. In 2006, she was rewarded for her perseverance and talent with a win at the New Folk songwriting contest at Kerrville.

Antje Duvekot

 

Suzzy Roche
As one-third of the beloved sister group The Roches, Suzzy Roche has spent three decades creating beautiful harmonies. After a break that led to her work on the CDs Zero Church and Why the Long Face, Suzzy and her sisters, Terre and Maggie, are back together on Moonswept, where they welcome the next generation, Suzzy's daughter Lucy, into the fold. Guest Karen Schaefer speaks to Suzzy and Lucy about making music the family way.

Suzzy Roche

 

Eric Bibb
Eric Bibb is the product of a musician and an educator so it's only natural that his life’s work has taken both roads, building a name for himself as a talented blues singer/songwriter/guitarist and as an artist who understands the role social history plays in the music. While on tour in support of his critically praised CD Diamond Days, Bibb took time out to talk with Jim Blum about his long and interesting musical journey.

Eric Bibb

 

Arlo Guthrie
Part folk troubadour, part political activist, Arlo Guthrie comes by both naturally as the son of the legendary Woody Guthrie. The man behind what might be the most popular 18-minute song in history, Arlo sat down with Jim Blum at the Folk Alliance conference in Austin to discuss the current state of the music business, the wonders of the Internet and taking a train trip with his family to New Orleans to help out victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Arlo Guthrie

 

Loreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt describes her brand of Celtic music as "eclectic." And, that it is, borrowing sounds from the vast history and widespread traditions of the Celts. The Canadian McKennitt is an accomplished composer and performer – and also businessperson, she is self-managed and owns and operates the Quinlan Road label. McKennitt recently spoke with Folk Alley's Jim Blum about creating music from a confluence of cultural experience.

Loreena McKennitt

 

Nanci Griffith
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith writes from the crossroads of folk and country. Creating songs that are rich with melody while telling powerful stories, Griffith is widely recognized by both camps as one of the best working today. In anticipation of the release of her new CD, Ruby’s Torch, Griffith and Folk Alley’s Jim Blum had a little chat about torch songs, musical heroes the need for social activism in the music world and more.

Nanci Griffith

 

Adrienne Young
With talent and a lot of hard work, Adrienne Young and her band, Little Sadie, are building a career as traditional music revivalists. She recently sat down with Folk Alley's Jim Blum for a discussion of learning to live at a variety of speeds, appreciating the world around us, celebrating virtue and the glory of sustainable agriculture. And her music. Along with performing and songwriting duties, Young also heads up her own record label – AddieBelle Music.

Adrienne Young

 

Robinella
Robinella possesses a captivating voice that holds on to listeners and carries them deep into her songs - mostly a mix of bittersweet originals (with a hint of her southern roots) and old-time songs pulled from an early-20th century American songbook. The singer usually travels with her husband, Cruz Contreras, and their baby, but she was on a trip alone (traveling with the Greencards) when she stopped by the WKSU studios to drink tea with Jim Blum and talk about turning life into beautifully lasting music.

Robinella

 

Wailin' Jennys

Wailin' Jennys

 

David Grisman

David Grisman

 

Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen

Harvey Reid & Joyce Andersen

 

Cheryl Wheeler

Cheryl Wheeler

 

Pete Morton

Pete Morton

 

Kenny White

Kenny White

 

Jeff Black

Jeff Black

 

Strawbs

Strawbs

 

Alison Brown

Alison Brown

 

Pat Donohue

Pat Donohue

 

Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza Gilkyson

 

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

 

Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn

 

Ditty Bops

Ditty Bops

 

Uncle Earl

Uncle Earl

 

Béla Fleck

Béla Fleck

 

Steppin' In It

Steppin' In It

 

Peter Rowan

Peter Rowan

 

The Duhks

The Duhks

 

The Hot Buttered Rum String Band

The Hot Buttered Rum String Band

 

David Olney

David Olney

 

The Greencards

The Greencards

 

Randy Sparks

Randy Sparks

 

Rhonda Vincent

Rhonda Vincent

 

Vance Gilbert

Vance Gilbert

 

Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb

 

Slaid Cleaves

Slaid Cleaves

 

Janis Ian

Janis Ian

 

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