Emily Pinkerton | Valparaiso

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Folk: Alternative Folk World: South American Moods: Solo Female Artist
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by Emily Pinkerton

North American, South American and entirely unique. Evocative vocals soar over rhythms of the Andes and American old-time.
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Black Light
2:55 $0.99
2. Open Bottle
3:16 $0.99
3. Only
2:58 $0.99
4. Bluebird
2:58 $0.99
5. He Venido Caminando
3:07 $0.99
6. El Cerro
3:52 $0.99
7. Cardo o Ceniza
4:09 $0.99
8. El Huerto
2:58 $0.99
9. La Flor de la Verbena
2:26 $0.99
10. Ten Years
3:28 $0.99
11. Now
2:38 $0.99
12. Kingdom Down
4:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
When she lays down South American grooves on guitar, audiences are hard-pressed to tell that Emily Pinkerton is a native of the Midwest. Born and raised in Valparaiso, Indiana, her musical education carried her to Valparaíso, Chile, inspiring a decade of immersion in Latin American music. Her latest release weaves these two worlds together in a vibrant, transcontinental tapestry. Evocative, haunting vocals in Spanish and English soar above pulsating rhythms of Andean guitar and old-time banjo.

Emily’s neo-traditional compositions draw from twelve years of travel between the U.S. and Chile. She has studied with master musicians, including Alfonso Rubio, Patricia Chavarría and Pedro Yáñez, learning to perform traditional cueca, tonada and canto a lo poeta on guitar and guitarrón. Her latest songs, however, are part of an approach that moves beyond simply re-creating the music she loves. “This album is about stretching genres, rhythms and forms: seeing what happens when I fuse Etta Baker’s finger-picking patterns with rural Chilean guitar, or rework a traditional South American song on clawhammer banjo. In this sense, I’m shaping a sound that is rooted in Latin America, yet in the mingling of styles, becomes my own.”

Emily has toured North and South America, appearing at venues such as SXSW (TX), Sala América (Chile), Kamikaze (Peru), Tulane University (LA), The Space (CT), Makor (NY), Mulholland Nights (CA), Club Café (PA), and Cactus Café (TX). She has shared the stage with Stacy Phillips, Glen Velez, the Chieftains and Alejandro Escovedo, and is a former member of the award-winning, Austin-based band Divahn.



to write a review

Cate Koskey

Emily's voice on this album reminds me of pure light shooting from some musical heaven. The songs are everything you need in your life -- soothing, invigorating, emotive -- thank you, Emily.

Bradley Richter

Valparaiso Is Magic
One wishes one could clone Emily Pinkerton.

Those genetic replicas, each with an instrument—banjo, fiddle, guitar—and each with a voice—splintered from Emily’s own worn-over, sorrow-laden tones—would form an old-timey stringband for the ages with the added capacity to perform original songs of harrowing beauty.

Thankfully, Emily has the technological miracle of studio magic at her disposal, by which she multiplies her exquisite voice in harmony and her dexterous fingers in picking and strumming (with complex rhythmical acumen) a variety of instruments vital to both Appalachian and Andean folk traditions.

Valparaiso is not just studio magic, though.

Valparaiso is magic.

The album is an enchanting tapestry, woven from disparate musical and linguistic threads from both North and South America. When Emily sings He Venido Caminando, accompanied by nothing but a brilliantly-arranged and -played clawhammer banjo, the astute listener knows that she or he is hearing something special. Valparaiso is full and overflowing with such delightfully cosmic moments.

To punctuate her musical marvels, Emily continues to grow and excel as a songwriter. Ten Years most clearly demonstrates her songwriting prowess: “Do we mourn or wonder as our backs start to bow? / A decade does not make this easy to hold / A story is waiting, there’s an end to be told.”

And Now is perhaps one of the best love songs of all time, expressing a bittersweet truth about love and life with such brevity and clarity that I dare not paraphrase it:

“Don’t think what’s to come / What might or might not befall us / Know I’m so in love with you now.”

Near the end, Now has a passage that is more melodically and harmonically reminiscent of the Beatles than of anything from Valparaiso, Indiana or Valparaiso, Chile, which proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Emily is not bound by tradition.

She absorbs, masters, exudes, creates tradition.

She is tradition.

Valparaiso is an important work with big ideas from a significant American singer-songwriter. Emily Pinkerton aims high and hits her mark every time. Bravo.

Brian Junker

Poetic, efficient songwriting and arranging, drawing deeply from an Americana that spans both continents of the New World, delivered with a clear, inviting voice and clean, seemingly effortless instrumental work. Groundbreaking work; destined to be a classic.

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