“Whatever country music is supposed to be,
she’s at the center of it.” Utah Phillips
Grammy Award-winning musician Laurie Lewis is internationally renowned as a singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader, producer and educator. She was a founding member of the Good Ol’ Persons and the Grant Street String Band and has performed and recorded since 1986 with her musical partner, mandolinist Tom Rozum. Laurie has twice been voted “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association and has won the respect and admiration of her peers.
Linda Ronstadt speaks for many when she says of Laurie: “Her voice is a rare combination of grit and grace, strength and delicacy. Her stories are always true.” A pioneering woman in bluegrass, Laurie has paved the way for many young women today, always guided by her own love of traditional music and the styles of her heroes that came before. At the same time, she has steadfastly followed her personal muse and remained open to new influences.
Coming from the coastal hills of northern California, Ismay is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the American West. With an ear for an old-time aesthetic and artistry of indie folk, Ismay’s blends inventive songwriting, ethereal vocals, and dynamic fingerpicking on the guitar. When she is not traveling the western states on horseback, Ismay can be found working on her ranch, collecting the sounds and stories of rural California. From this cultural history comes Ismay’s deep-rooted sound of the New American West.
American Nomad is an award winning acoustic group in the widely eclectic Bay Area music scene. They were honored for best vocal performance in the 2013 Berkeley Old Time Music Competition, as a finalist in the 2011 International songwriting competition, and were recognized in the 2013 and 2011 Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriter Competition. Rooted in Americana and folk/swing traditions, their carefully crafted original music maintains a modern relevance. Smart songwriting, catchy lyrics, tight rhythms, rich harmonies, and strong musicianship have already begun to earn American Nomad a reputation as a band that can intrigue listeners from a wide variety of musical tastes and backgrounds. Keeping in line with the ancient troubadour tradition, American Nomad draws from the spirit of travel and authentic life experience.
Rainy Eyes (Irena Eide) is a Norwegian-born singer-songwriter who has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past decade, writing music, performing and touring throughout the US. She is most often accompanied by Bay Area bluegrass fiddler/singer Amy Scher from Philadelphia, by way of Flagstaff Arizona. Together their voices blend beautifully and creates a soulful, heartfelt and timeless sound with tight knit harmonies and thoughtful songwriting.
Rainy Eyes has opened for bands like Jackie Greene, Jon Cleary, Peter Rowan, Steep Ravine and played prominent stages like Sweetwater Music Hall Henry Miller Library, Sonoma Mountain Music Festival and more.
Her soon to be released debut album features Eli West (Cahalen Morrison and Eli West) on banjo, guitar and harmonies and Amy Scher on fiddle and harmonies.
Rainy Eyes also won "best song of the month" at the Freight and Salvage West Coast Songwriters competition in April 2015 for her song "Moon In The Mirror", and has co-written two songs with grammy-award winning Peter Rowan. These songs will be featured on the upcoming solo debut album.
Lake Charlatans is a rollicking tribute band celebrating the songs of beloved troubadour Lucinda Williams. Named in honor of Williams’ hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Lake Charlatans features Avery Hellman on guitar and vocals; Mick Hellman on drums and vocals; Joshua Zucker (The Jones Gang, Rowan Brothers, Poor Man’s Whiskey) on bass and vocals; Austin de Lone (Eggs Over Easy, Elvis Costello) on keys; Gary Vogenson (New Riders of the Purple Sage, Etta James) on guitar and vocals; and Dave Zirbel (San Geronimo) on pedal steel guitar and vocals.
Songwriters in the Round
Tanbark began in 2011 as a long-distance songwriting collaboration between Chloe Nelson, who was studying art history in London, and James Jannicelli, who was a drummer/multi-instrumentalist in the local Minneapolis scene. By 2012, they were both in Minneapolis, where their country and folk inspired songwriting and close vocal harmonies began to form the basis of their sound.
In 2014, Tanbark headed to Los Angeles to team up in the studio with Trevor Welch. The resulting 8-track album, "Write Soon," brings together the bareness of the duo's acoustic folk sound with a fuller, pedal-steel-and-Telecaster-fueled country sound.
Since relocating to New York City later in 2014, Tanbark has performed frequently around Brooklyn and Manhattan and has become a part of the city's thriving folk scene.
"Write Soon" was released August 20, 2015 and is available online and as a limited edition cassette.
Portland songstress MAITA’s debut EP, Waterbearer, is a rallying cry for the quiet warrior, the inquisitive seeker and the fierce lover. Produced by Matthew Zeltzer, mixed by John Askew (Neko Case), and featuring some of Portland’s finest musicians—Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Loch Lomond), Skip VonKuske (Portland Cello Project), Tucker Jackson (The Minus 5, The Delines), and Matthew Berger (Laura Gibson)—the arrangements on Waterbearer are minimalist yet rich, featuring hypnotic fingerpicked guitar patterns flecked with washes of cello and guitar, with Maita’s haunting melodies and beguiling poetry front and center.
M. LOCKWOOD PORTER
The Berkeley, California-based singer-songwriter M. Lockwood Porter is part of a promising crop of up-and-coming Americana singer-songwriters. In the past three years, he has released two critically-acclaimed albums and performed all over the US, sharing the stage with acts like American Aquarium, David Wax Museum, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Water Liars, Samantha Crain, David Ramirez, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and John Moreland. He has performed at festivals like Outside Lands, Noise Pop, Norman Music Festival, and CMJ. No Depression called Porter’s 2014 album 27 “a solid album worth your time, attention, and money." In a review of 27, Americana UK said, "Take care with M. Lockwood Porter. He is an important singer-songwriter.”
(OF THE AMERICAN WEST)
ISAIAH MEAD (OF SALT SUNS)