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MadeLoud Mix: Folk and Bluegrass

On our Facebook page I asked what kind of mix our readers would like to hear next, and a guy named Sterling made a request for a folk/bluegrass mix. Done and done! It turns out that our bluegrass section is somewhat tiny, so it actually made perfect sense to blend it in with some of our folk favorites. In this section you'll find songs related to Amelia Earhart, parts of a concept record, and other folksy, mostly-acoustic numbers.

1. Methuselah's Valise - “Stonewall”

Methuselah's Valise is a New York band whose sound at the beginning of this very short, very pretty number could almost be described as Celtic. What a relaxing way to begin a mix! Onward...

2. Clayborne Fox - “Claire Renoe”

A brief speak-sung introduction starts this one off before banjo and a chorus of singing whip things into a pickin' frenzy. The percussion thwacks softly, suggesting the use of brushes or just quieter snare hits. Apparently begun by two cousins in Florida, Clayborne Fox worked to make a concept album and a kind of rock and roll musical that "involve[s] [a] music enthusiast/ local musician who is trying to play music in a society saturated an image-based music scene.” A playful, fun track.

3. Erin Ivey - “Amelia”

MadeLoud's history stretches back to our first meet up with the "urban folk" songstress Erin Ivey at our inaugural sponsorship of the Monolith Festival, and we interviewed her just recently about her new album Broken Gold. This song from her Sweet Little EP is one of our enduring faves.

4. Ben Hammond - “Even Though”

"Even Though" is a soft track with washes of synthesizer [edit: not actually synthesizer after all! thanks for the clarification, Ben!] and light percussion. The track noticeably slows down at the two and a half minute mark when it quietly builds up with the “I didn't lie/No, I didn't lie to you” refrain. The second part of the song could almost be another composition entirely, replete with what sounds like an accordion at the end. This song is from Hammond's album [Reasonably] Honest, and he also has a new album called Solo at Stone Mt Arts Center out now.

5. Colorform - “Introverted”

Colorform is a Brooklyn band that "[d]raw[s] inspiration from such diverse subjects as Greek drama, nervousness, and leukocytes." A male voice counts this one off before the voice and guitar of Kate Logan pulls it all together. Are those claves I hear? Possibly. A big swell of strings comes in at the end, thanks to cello player Matt Logan. Colorform adds a unique visual aspect to what they do. “At all live performances and in rehearsals, NYC artist Sarah Valeri draws and paints her unique artwork, a process in which the two art forms are mutually inspired.” Wow...even rehearsals? Practice makes perfect, I guess.

6. Gillian Visco“I'm Sorry I Ignited You”

"I'm Sorry I Ignited You" is a fun track with a slew of electronic sounds that compliment the guitar. Here's what we said about Flotation Device, the album from which this track comes - “Flotation Device is a solid effort - a simple album with just enough complexity to keep it interesting. It will be interesting to see where Visco takes us with subsequent releases.”

7. Straight White Lines - “Near to Me”

This track opens with guitar and a bit of harmonica. Softly sung lyrics begin about a minute in, and concluding at only two and a half minutes the song certainly does not overstay its welcome. From the band's bio: “Straight White Lines was born out of the darkness of a power outage in the mountains near Guatemala City. It went from entertaining orphans to a friendship that turned into a band. We kept playing together when we got back to the states and eventually acquired a drummer, and built the throwback folk band that we are today.” The group's newest EP is called Second Nature.

8. Michael Strollo - “Blown Away”

A very thoughtful and quiet tune from Michael Strollo. From the unlikely locale of Colts Neck, New Jersey, Strollo was once a member of Exit 105 but is now a solo artist. His newest album is called Bedroom Eyes.

9. Mark Gardner - “Forever Girl”

"Forever Girl" kicks off with both electric and acoustic guitars, a change in pace from most of the songs on this mix. While Gardner writes frequently about the environment and other broad subjects, this composition seems closer to the personal.

Image of Gillian Visco from Local Correspondants on Flickr. Also check out our Religious Rock and R&B, Country Music, funk and Reggae Music playlists!


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