The Early Mays | The Early Mays

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Folk: Appalachian Folk Country: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Early Mays

by The Early Mays

Three-part vocal harmonies with gorgeous fiddle, banjo and guitar. Original songs that dig deep in to American tradition.
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Little Darling Pal of Mine
3:02 $0.99
2. Nothing Stands
3:15 $0.99
3. Bitter
4:50 $0.99
4. Old Stone Wall
4:39 $0.99
5. Red Bud
3:30 $0.99
6. Lonesome John
3:16 $0.99
7. Dear Companion
4:18 $0.99
8. I Hope We Get to Do It Again
2:48 $0.99
9. Take My Time
3:50 $0.99
10. I'm Sorry, Wyoming
3:31 $0.99
11. Everything
3:42 $0.99
12. The Blackest Crow
4:13 $0.99
13. It's All Right
4:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
What started out at a candle-lit concert on Christmas Eve – singing traditional Appalachian songs – evolved into a tour, a trio, and a friendship of three women. Since these beginnings, The Early Mays have left a trail of enchanted audiences from southern West Virginia to their home in Pittsburgh, PA, sharing songs based in a love of American traditions and an exploration of their own songwriting voices. Following a 2012 holiday album, Judith Avers, Ellen Gozion and Emily Pinkerton are now unfurling their full artistic vision in a self-titled release this October.

Three-part harmonies with gorgeous fiddle, banjo and guitar take you from start to finish. These ladies were meant to sing together, and they hope you’ll sing along. It won’t be hard, especially on an early country favorite like The Carter Family’s “Little Darling Pal Of Mine.” Ellen’s voice has all the sweetness of the original, while Emily and Judith add new minor harmonies and rhythmic edge. “Dear Companion” and “The Blackest Crow” offer fresh takes on tradition, and Lonesome John is true to the original Kentucky fiddle tune, and will have you itching for a barn dance.

But the pillars of the album are original songs that dig deep in the American songbook for inspiration. Along with old-time musicians like Sheila Kay Adams, Jean Ritchie and John Salyer, the Mays recall the sounds of CSNY, Simon & Garfunkel, Willie Nelson and other legends. Emily’s “Nothing Stands” has all the vastness of a Leonard Cohen track, with steady guitar and stark strings flowing like a river in the distance. Judith tells stories with the best of them on “Bitter,” with high lonesome yodel and heartbreak. And Ellen’s “Old Stone Wall” is saturated with the heat of the south, with slow banjo and singed electric guitar. For a light country romp, there’s a cover of “I’m Sorry Wyoming” (Abbie Gardner, Red Molly), and just in time for Thanksgiving is a tender song of gratitude by Brad Yoder, “I Hope We Get to Do It Again.”

These women celebrated many musical milestones as solo artists before becoming a trio. Judith’s songs took her to the winners’ circle in the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition and at Falcon Ridge. Ellen showcased her ballad singing as an Augusta Heritage Center instructor, and as an American Music Abroad finalist with the US State Department. Emily traveled on a Fulbright grant to South America, and you can hear her talk about her life-long love of Chilean music on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Analog production makes this album sound like a folk gem from the late 1960s, and live takes with vintage microphones recreate the enveloping spirit of an Early Mays concert. With co-producer Lurch Rudyk of Broadcast Lane Studios (Sara Harmer, Kathleen Edwards), Judith, Ellen and Emily have poured their hearts--and all their experience--into this recording.  On The Early Mays, you hear the voices of three friends. Three great musicians. You see the spark that began three years ago and will hopefully leave you shining a little more brightly because of it.



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