Laurie MacAllister | The Lies the Poets Tell

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Folk: Folk Pop Pop: Folky Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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The Lies the Poets Tell

by Laurie MacAllister

A collection of exquisite songs exploring the many facets of love and romance––heartbreak, despair, longing, fear, hope, elation and devotion. Featuring duets with six male vocalists, including the late Americana master Jimmy LaFave.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. My Stupid Heart
3:17 $0.99
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2. When We Begin (feat. Mark Erelli)
3:50 $0.99
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3. For a Song
5:01 $0.99
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4. Poison and Wine (feat. Jimmy LaFave)
3:44 $0.99
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5. Vertigo
4:47 $0.99
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6. A Reckoning of Us
3:46 $0.99
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7. Are You Happy Now? (feat. Richard Shindell)
4:10 $0.99
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8. Home (feat. Robby Hecht)
4:44 $0.99
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9. Ten Year Night
5:12 $0.99
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10. A Thousand Years (feat. Ellis Paul)
4:55 $0.99
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11. Unfamiliar Moon
4:16 $0.99
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12. Birches (feat. David Glaser)
3:54 $0.99
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13. The Right Words
4:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"I’ve had a front-row seat to the making of this album that has nestled its way into your hands. I’ve witnessed its conception, the choice of songs, the rehearsals, the studio, even the photo shoot. It’s been a joy to watch the unfolding of a labor of love.

Since 2004, Laurie MacAllister has traveled the country as part of the Americana vocal trio Red Molly. Here, on her first solo recording in 15 years, she’s stepping up to the microphone alone, with a crystalline voice that cuts straight to the heart. And while that voice is a spectacular asset, she shines in her roles as curator and storyteller; she selected these 13 musical gems, and assembled a studio band of folk music’s finest sidemen, a crack ensemble who provide a stunning backdrop for the delivery of these stories. The thread that runs through all the songs is as old as time itself: Love.

There’s the innocence and anticipation of a first kiss in “When We Begin” and the scary, about-to-fall-in-love shakiness of “Vertigo”. There’s the wry response to abandonment in “Are You Happy Now?” and the desperation and loneliness of loss in “Unfamiliar Moon”. There’s hope of eventual forgiveness in “A Reckoning of Us” and a story of decades-old love gone cold, in “Birches”. It’s all here, all the beauty, the longing, the heartbreak. This album of songs is a mixed tape lover’s dream.

Like she does in her work with Red Molly, Laurie pays tribute to her favorite songwriters, including songs by Bill Morrissey, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Cliff Eberhardt, and Vance Gilbert; and I’m honored to be on the list. The album in many ways is Laurie’s love letter to the contemporary folk music scene, celebrating a collection of it’s best songwriters, songs, musicians and vocalists.

These days, radio, television, and the internet are conspiring to sell affectation to us, when what the world really longs for is three chords and the truth. But then on this, the rarest of all recordings, a voice rings out, honest and clear. Ahhhh. At last! That’s how I felt when I heard it. Someone is speaking to me, soul-to-soul. It lifted my mood like I was swept up in a hot air balloon ride, just when I was starting to feel that I was beyond reach."

Ellis Paul
Charlottesville VA
November 1, 2017


1. My Stupid Heart
When it comes to love, the heart is at the wheel. We’d like to think we are in control, but our hearts make the decisions for us. This song, with its raw confessional honesty, and its balance of both pain and optimism, had me hooked from the first listen. And it sets the stage perfectly for this album that's all about love.

2. When We Begin (feat. Mark Erelli)
Ah, the electric excitement of a promising first date! This is the very first song Ellis Paul ever played for me one-on-one, and I was smitten. I’ve long had a dream about making an album of duets with my favorite singers, and Mark Erelli is at the top of that list. He dives inside the song, infusing it with warmth and hopefulness. This recording is a dream-come-true for me––it’s exactly the kind of music I want to make.

3. For a Song
Mark Erelli’s songs crack my heart wide open. He’s the rare songwriter who can write a killer song about any subject under the sun. This autobiographical one explores that bittersweet longing for loved ones at home when on the road. “Sometimes it feels like church, sometimes like I’m the last one on Earth.” Why do we do it? A profound love of music, and a belief in the power and beauty of songs.

4. Poison and Wine (feat. Jimmy LaFave)
The world lost a folk music hero in May 2017. A month before he left us, he recorded this duet with me, one of the most intense songs about the dark and light of love that I’ve ever heard. I like to think that a century from now, someone will be stopped in their tracks by a song, drawn in by the sound of an achingly beautiful, lifeworn, wise and otherworldly voice, and will ask, “Who’s that singing?” The answer will be “That’s Jimmy LaFave.”

5. Vertigo
This song captures the thrill and the terror of falling in love. It bottles that feeling when your heart might dance right out of your body, but you try with all your might to play it cool. Only the courageous get to find out if it's worth it. Together, Antje Duvekot and Mark Erelli created this gem that captures the crazy wild circus that is the start of a new romance.

6. A Reckoning of Us
The gorgeousness of this song stuns me, even after many hundreds of listens over the years. It tells of the warfare of a breakup and the hope of an eventual peace treaty. I count it among my favorite songs ever written. Life is better because the songs and voice of Robby Hecht are in it.

7. Are You Happy Now? (feat. Richard Shindell)
I love a song that reminds me of no other song I’ve ever heard. Case in point, this quirky, fascinating song about a sudden breakup on Halloween. This is the shock and hurt of abandonment transformed into a perfect little piece of art, with edges of humor and bitterness, and just the right amount of achy longing for a happier time. Lines like, “Shaving cream covers the car that we picked up in Baltimore” make the songlover in me so happy.

8. Home (feat. Robby Hecht)
I heard this for the first time at an Ellis Paul concert in Fair Lawn, NJ. He sat down at the piano, and delivered this exquisite love story. I remember feeling shocked at the tenderness of it. This song is a singer’s dream, and I wondered how it would work as a duet. Robby Hecht, with his dreamy, vulnerable voice, was the perfect choice for a partner on this one. Ellis has gorgeously captured the thing we all know, deep down: that none of the possessions we own, even our houses, matter, compared to the people we love.

9. Ten Year Night
Once in a while, if you’re really lucky, a chance meeting turns into a beautiful marriage and a lifetime spent together. I've listened to this song, written by Lucy and her husband Rick, probably hundreds of times. It puts me in a very good place. How great it is to know that there are relationships out there like this: full of deep love, respect and commitment.

10. A Thousand Years (feat. Ellis Paul)
This song is so breathlessly over-the-top romantic that it’s irresistible to me. I’ve lived this story. I’ve known the waiting, I’ve known the hoping. I’ve also lost hope. I’ve known the fear that comes with thinking you may have finally found the right person. And who better to sing a lyrical melodic love song with me than Ellis Paul?

11. Unfamiliar Moon
Lots of songwriters have used the moon in their work; there’s only a tiny sliver of turf left, but Vance managed to find it. He sings to us of that phenomenon of being so broken-hearted that the most solid reliable things in life (like even our houses and our favorite songs) become hard to recognize. Despite the subject matter, singing this song brings me pure joy––the timeless excellent songwriting is thrilling to me.

12. Birches (feat. David Glaser)
In Maine, about 15 years ago, I sat in the back row of a theater at a Bill Morrissey concert, and this song hit my ears and my heart and my soul for the first time. On this album chock full of spectacular songs, sometimes it’s clear to me that this one is the very best of the bunch. It’s all the more poignant because Bill is gone from this earth. His work lives on, and will forever. I’ve reimagined this song about a long-term relationship as a duet, putting myself in the role of wife. David Glaser’s delivery of Warren’s lines feels like nothing less than magic to me.

13. The Right Words
I couldn’t make an album of love songs without a song written by Cliff. Back in 2000, I was 30 years old, and had recently decided to pursue music. I was happy and excited, but a fish out of water, with no formal musical training. I did have a deep love of gorgeous songs and a passion for singing. I met Cliff, and my musical world exploded open. Witnessing his deeply musical soul, his love of songwriting, his melodic sense, and his spectacular emotive voice served as my music school. It’s only because of singing backup for him and learning from him that I was able to start a career in music; I will be grateful forever.

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