DOSSETT BRINGS TOGETHER ROOTS ALL-STARS FROM CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROP TO JOHN HARTFORD BAND ALUM FOR 'THE GATHERING,' GORGEOUS ALBUM OF OBSCURE AND ORIGINAL WINTER AND CHRISTMAS MUSIC
If it weren't for Levon Helm, Laurelyn Dossett might still be one of North Carolina's best-kept secrets. Helm included Dossett's "Anna Lee" on his GRAMMY-winning album 'Dirt Farmer,' a surprise to her until its release, and his new concert album 'Ramble At The Ryman.' When she later opened a Midnight Ramble, Helm says, "There's the lady that wrote that beautiful song that sounds 300 years old."
This month, 'Dirt Farmer' producer Larry Campbell heard Dossett's most recent project, 'The Gathering,' a gorgeous union of Piedmont- and Appalachian-style musicians Rhiannon Giddens (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops), Mike Compton (John Hartford Band, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes), Joe Newberry (Big Medicine), Jason Sypher (Susan McKeown), and Dossett in a cycle of original and obscure music capturing a North Carolina winter night. Campbell said, "The combination of heart and intimacy on The Gathering feels like a warm wood-smoke fire on a cold North Carolina winter's night."
Check out video on the making of the album here.
Stream the song "Lights in the Lowlands."
Dossett has also graced the stage of Prairie Home Companion, with her band Polecat Creek.
Yet despite her status as a national artist, she captures the visions, characters, stories, smells, and kinships of her home state. 'The Gathering' grew out of – and revolves around – a six-song cycle commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony.
She is a recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Music Fellowship. North Carolina's Our State has praised "that crystalline, heart-tug of a voice that still makes people weep," continuing, "Dossett writes about our South and our dance with religion and nature, love and loss… She’s become a songwriter people say they can’t forget." Another local magazine O Henry echoed those comments, saying, "Dossett has a gift: storytelling. [And] her voice is pure honey."