Tuesday, February 24, 2015



Rising songwriter Kristin Andreassen will be joined by a who’s who of the NYC folk music scene to celebrate the release of her new album ‘Gondolier’ at Joe’s Pub on March 10. In addition, visual artist Amy Helfand will supply shadow puppets created specifically for this concert.

“Gondolier” title track lyric video over vintage stock footage.

She offers vivid metaphors and deep questions on her new album ‘Gondolier,’ which is earning spotlights from the likes of CMT Edge, Travel + Leisure, Country Weekly, UTNE Reader, and syndicated radio spots from Mountain Stage, Woodsongs, and Music City Roots. Executive produced by Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers, ‘Gondolier’ tackles topics such as where one belongs; depression; expectations of the future; memories of war; self-imposed isolation; and alcoholism; all with a lightness and freshness of idea and imagery.

Kristin Andreassen videos.

Aoife O’Donovan, her former bandmate who sings on ‘Gondolier,’ says, “In Sometymes Why, we used to call Kristin ‘the mistress of metaphor.’ Her knack for drawing deep (and sometimes dark) meaning out of seemingly sweet lyrics is uncanny. On this new album, Kristin Andreassen has arrived at a whole new level- the production is spot-on, the songs eerily unique yet timeless, and her singing pristine. Gondolier is a spectacular record that we're going to be listening to for a long time.” O’Donovan and Ruth Ungar, Andreassen’s bandmates from the trio Sometymes Why, will both be joining me on harmony vocals at the Joe’s show. (Plus see below for rest of the band).

Full album lyrics and credits.


Kristin Andreassen – guitar, body percussion
Jefferson Hamer - guitar
Alec Spiegelman - woodwinds
Jacob Silver - bass
Robin MacMillan - drums
Aoife O’Donovan - harmony vocals
Ruth Ungar - harmony vocals

Monday, February 23, 2015




Celebrating folk music from near and far, the Brooklyn Folk Festival showcases 30 bands, workshops, film screenings and contests. Daptone gospel group Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, country blues and songster multi-instrumentalist Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, folk legend and songwriter Michael Hurley, old-time fiddle and banjo player Bruce Molsky, fiddle player Frank Fairfield, and intergenerational anti-folk collaborators Peter Stampfel & Jeffrey Lewis are among the performers at this year's Festival, held from April 17-19th.

The seventh annual festival has sold out every year, its attendance growing each time, and has moved to its largest venue to date, St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, in Brooklyn Heights. Its world-famous stained-glass windows will frame the stage. The Festival is a co-production of The Jalopy Theatre and Down Home Radio. The three-day event has grown each year. This year's partnership with St. Ann's allows for a main stage inside the church, and a second stage for workshops, film screenings and vendors.

Adding to the festivities, the Festival features the famous banjo toss contest, a family-friendly square dance, family concert and open jam session.


8:00PM Jackson Lynch - Blues guitar, old time fiddle and banjo breakdowns
8:45PM Horse Eyed Men - Original folk/country outer-space music
9:30PM Michael Hurley - Legendary folk musician, needs no introduction!
10:15PM Jerron "Blindboy" Paxton - Country blues, fiddle and banjo
11:00PM Terry Waldo's Rum House Band - Legendary early Jazz and Ragtime pianist with his band
11:45PM Feral Foster and His Band - Excellent songwriting based solidly in Blues, Folk, Gospel and Balkan music

Saturday Afternoon
1:30PM Wyndham Baird - Folksongs, blues, and more!
2:15PM King Isto’s Tropical String Band - Hawaiian/tropical stringband music
3:00PM Ryan Spearman - Banjo and fiddle music, old and new
3:45PM Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues - Raucous jug band music! Traditional and original
4:30PM Frank Fairfield and Zac Sokolow - American stringband music from the great state of California!
5:15PM Suzy & Eric Thompson - Folk, Blues and Bluegrass music, from the great state of California!
6:00PM Tom Marion with Frank Fairfield - Italian and American string music featuring polkas, waltzes, mazurkas!
6:45PM Ozark Highballers - Amazing old time string band from the great state of Arkansas!

1:00PM Old Time Jam Session
2:30PM Songs of Freedom with Matt Callahan and Yvonne Moore - Discovering the Irish Revolutionary songs of James Connolly!
3:15PM Folk City! A presentation about the history of folk music in New York by Stephen Petrus from the Museum of the City of New York
4-5:30pm "Singing in Harmony", Vocal Harmony Workshop with Don Friedman and Phyllis Elkind
"We'll pick a few songs from the world of old-time, early country, bluegrass and gospel, teach the melody and harmony parts, and before you know it, you'll be singing in two and three part harmony! We'll do each song as a group and then give you a chance to try it out as a duet or trio. All levels of singers welcome!"

Saturday Evening
8pm Pat Conte - Direct from the Secret Museum
8:45PM Cactus Blossoms - Original and Traditional country songs, sung in harmony
9:30PM TBA
10:30PM Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens
11:15PM Souren Baronian and band - Middle and Near Eastern Music
Sunday Afternoon
2:00PM Uncle Shlomo's Brooklyn Kids Concert!
2:45PM Hoodoo Honeydrippers - Country Blues duet
3:30PM Art Rosenbaum - Grammy Award winning musician and folklorist
4:15PM "Treasure from the Archive Roadshow" - Live performance of music from the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
5:00PM Famoro Dioubate - Djeli playing Mande Balafon music from Guinea
5:45PM Bruce Molsky - Old time fiddle, banjo and guitar
6:30PM Four o’clock Flowers - Blues and Folk duet

1:00PM Banjo Toss – The famous banjo throwing competition. Win a free banjo!
- Assemble at 1pm in front of the venue for the parade to the banjo tossing arena!
2:30PM A Selections of Films by Alan Lomax - Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Lomax Archive will screen several folkloric films
3:30PM Fiddle Workshop with Bruce Molsky
5:00PM Old Time Banjo Workshop with Art Rosenbaum (Grammy award winning musician and folklorist)
6:30pm Square Dance!

Sunday Evening
7:30PM Down Hill Strugglers with John Cohen - old time string band
8:15PM Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel (of the Holy Modal Rounders)
9:00PM The Whiskey Spitters - Old, Blues, and Jug Band Music
9:45PM Litvakus - Klezmer/Jewish music of Belarus, beautiful newly researched and rediscovered music

“The folk music of any place always has more heart and soul than corporate, mass produced music,” said Paxton. “The Brooklyn Folk Festival will make 'the peoples music' (folk music) more accessible to the people of New York. I enjoy playing the Brooklyn Folk Festival for the good music, good times, good people with whom I get to make music and the good people that I make music for.”

As an international city, New York is home to legendary musicians from around the world. Famoro Dioubate of Guinea will play the balafon – similar to an American xylophone. The Litvakus klezmer collective will bring to life the soaring music of Belarus and traditional Litvak Jewish music. Also featured is Souren Baronian, Armenian-American reedman extrodinaire.

"This 7th annual Brooklyn Folk Festival promises to be a truly special event as we move to a new home at St. Ann's Church in Brooklyn Heights," Eli Smith, founder and co-host of the Festival, said. "This amazing space will only heighten the effect of the incredible sounds that will be made at this year's event, with music from a huge diversity of genres including gospel, blues, old time music, klezmer, trad jazz, song writers, Italian string music, jug band music and more! This year's festival will also feature the "Treasures from the Archive Roadshow," an outreach program of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. This great program will feature live performances of materials learned from the incredible collections at the Library of Congress and will honor the work of famed folklorist Alan Lomax who would have been 100 years old in 2015. A selection of rare film footage taken by Lomax will also be screened."

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1844. An important example of Gothic Revival architecture in America, the richly ornamented church is notable for its elaborately vaulted roof and window tracery. Before it was removed in 1906, its spire was the most visible landmark in Brooklyn and was used by ship captains to navigate the harbor. The Festival will take place in the main hall of the church, with workshops, film screenings and the square dance in the side hall. Food, drink and retail vendors will be on site.

The performances are separated into daytime and evening shows, day passes and a full-festival three-day pass. All workshops, film screenings, and the square dance are included in the price of admission.

Passes and Tickets are available at http://www.brooklynfolkfest.com/tickets
3-day passes are $80.
Friday Ticket: $25
Saturday All-Day Pass: $35
Saturday Afternoon passes are $20
Saturday Night passes are $25
Sunday All-Day Pass: $35
Sunday Afternoon passes $20
Sunday Night passes $20

Kids 5 and under are FREE.

Photos and Videos available upon request.

Thursday, February 19, 2015



"This is the kind of stuff that will last for generations,” said Americana Music Association head Jed Hilly said of Signature Sounds, introducing a set from the 20th anniversary concerts in person in November.

'Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Favorite and Rarities from the Second Decade’ is out March 3 and it hangs together as an album and a 19-track survey of the best of recent Americana music. One of the unique aspects of this label is in its collaborations between label-mates and between Signature Sounds artists and their peers—and a willingness on Jim Olsen’s part to follow his artists’ muses in whatever direction that might lead. Signature Sounds is a tight community.

Sweet & Lowdown is a Brooklyn-based collaboration between Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive, the band that led 2014 to be Signature Sounds’ most successful year to date, and Miss Tess & The Talkbacks. Together, they sing soulful versions of country, rockabilly, rhythm & blues, and western swing standards. Even while Lake Street Dive entered the Billboard top 20, Sweet & Lowdown has continued to gig in NYC. “Violent Love” from ‘Favorite and Rarities’ is a swinging rhythm & blues performance and fun example of two powerhouse vocalists in cahoots.

The Sacred Shakers offer the standard “Samson & Delilah.” Take Eilen Jewell and her band, add four members to double the size, and insert a repertoire of gospel songs and you have the Shake Shakers.

Meanwhile, Shelburne Falls, MA couple and Signature Sounds label-mates Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault offer the previously unreleased track “If This Ain't Heaven.” Diffuser.FM premiered it, saying, “Delmhorst’s gorgeous vocals are backed with Foucault’s soothing guitar work, espousing the sentiments we wish we could feel all the time."

Heather Maloney recorded an EP with fellow Massachusetts musicians in the band Darlingside on the hypnotic music set to handclaps and Maloney’s drop-dead stunning vocals and songwriting. Murmurs were heard in the lobby of the 20th anniversary shows that Maloney may be a future star.

One Signature Sounds band actually grew out of the staff itself, as Winterpills is partly made up of Signature Sound employees Flora Reed and Philip Price. The Wild Honey Pie debuted a previously unreleased track by the band, saying, “'A Tree In The Lung’ is a soothing whisper of harmonies paired with a fresh upbeat-tempo, and the ebb and flow falls nothing short of hypnotizing and charming. The verses beautifully echo themselves but never feel like lyrical fillers."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Antibalas short bio

Antibalas is recognized as the preeminent contemporary afrobeat ensemble in North America. Since its founding in Brooklyn in 1998, the 12-14 member ensemble has performed over 1700 shows in 30 countries and is a fixture at the premiere jazz, world music, and rock festivals around the world. The group's scope, repertoire, and expertise of its large family of musicians is not limited solely to one genre: Antibalas has rooted itself at the center of contemporary New York music, serving as a connector and collaborator through the city's disparate music scenes from Afro-Cuban, avant classical, funk, rock, reggae, and pop music. In the past few years, the group has collaborated with artists including Jovanotti, Mark Ronson, My Morning Jacket, The Roots, Medeski, Martin and Wood, David Byrne and St. Vincent and recently served as the house band at Carnegie Hall performing the music of Paul Simon. In 2008, Antibalas formed the nucleus for the Broadway musical FELA directed by Bill T. Jones, and members of the Antibalas horns served as the show's musical directors. Antibalas's most recent self-titled album was recorded at the Daptone House of Soul in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and released in late 2012 on the Daptone label.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NLE on a Folk Alliance panel

Building & Motivating Your Team
Friday 11-11:45am Liberty
Moderator:  Val Denn (Val Denn Agency)
Panelists:  Nelly Neben (Axis Artist Management), Jimmy LaFave (Artist), Ashley Warren (Music Road Records), Suze Casey (Calgary Folk Club), Nick Loss-Eaton (Nick Loss-Eaton Media)
How to attract and motivate your dream team. What are common roles on an artist's team, and how does each team member interact? How can we communicate internally so everyone is working together effectively and efficiently? Hear these industry professionals, who have worked with many artists in diverse capacities, discuss the teams they have worked on that have enabled them to do their best work, and why. How they measure success. How they came to work with artists, what inspires and guides them, as well as tips and best practices that make their jobs easier and most rewarding.

Kristin Andreassen "Gondolier" lyric video

Kristin Andreassen at Folk Alliance

Brooklyn Folk Festival bios

Eli Smith:

Eli Smith is a banjo player, writer, researcher and promoter of folk music living in Brooklyn, NY.  Eli is a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist and produces two folk festivals annually, the Brooklyn Folk Festival in the Spring and Washington Square Park Folk Festival in the Fall.  He has appeared as a guest on terrestrial radio stations such as WBAI, WNYC, WKCR and WDST in New York and KPFA, KPFK and KUCI in California.  Eli has presented panels and discussions on folk music at the Left Forum conference and at the Podcamp podcasting conference in New York City.  In 2004 He traveled to Caracas, Venezuela as an American delegate to the Encuentro Mundial de Intelectuales y Artistas “En Defense de la Humanidad” (World Encounter of Intellectuals and Artists “for the Defense of Humanity).  Eli also served as music consultant for the Civil War film“Racing Daylight” (2007).  He has performed and recorded with his old time string band The Down Hill Strugglers, Peter Stampfel and John Cohen.  The Down Hill Strugglers were recently featured on the soundtrack album to the Coen Brothers’ film “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which was produced by T Bone Burnett.  Eli is currently preparing an "Oral History of Folk Music in New York" book and is working on a new television series for Brooklyn Independent Media called "Down Home TV" which will be a televised extension of his long running "Down Home Radio" podcast.

Eilen Jewell press photos

Credit for all photos: Otto Kitsinger
Click for high res version

Friday, February 13, 2015

Zap Mama & Antibalas photo

Credit: Lisa Russell
IDs L-R: Martin Perna, Maire Daulne, and Amayo
Click for high res version



Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kristin Andreassen’s gorgeous new album ‘Gondolier’ is earning raves ahead of its release next week. Featuring guests Chris Eldridge (of the Punch Brothers) and Aoife O’Donovan (the latter of whom will sing with her at Joe’s Pub March 10), ‘Gondolier’ is a full of delights, both melodic and lyrical. Here’s a video preview of the album.

Andreassen will also launch her first solo headlining tour next month with a full band (dates below).

“Whimsical indie-folk style.”
- Caroline Hallemann, Travel + Leisure, February 10, 2014

“Delicate beauty.”
- Chris Parton, CMT Edge, December 4, 2014

“She brought shimmering, breezy vocals and wildly interesting melodies. Her clean, malleable tone reminded me of her colleagues and friends Aoife O’Donovan and Ruth Ungar. But the songs were as personal as a signature.”
- Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots, January 21, 2015

“A beautiful collection of songs.”
- Christian Williams, UTNE Reader, February 3, 2015

“The elegantly understated acoustic pop of Andreassen’s upcoming second solo album, ‘Gondolier,’ is as catchy as anything out there.”
- David Menconi, Raleigh News & Observer, January 15, 2015

“A fantastic collection of ethereal folk tunes, jangly Americana and indie-heavy pop.”
- Cameron Matthews, The Bluegrass Situation, January 27, 2015

"At the start of any year, it’s always a challenge to pick a handful of artists who could break out of the musical pack to make a big impact. This deeply soulful artist is easily one of those."
- Bill Bentley, Morton Report, January 12, 2015

“A collection of gorgeous indie-folk songs”
- Michael Hamad, CTNow (Hartford Courant), December 29, 2014

Kristin Andreassen Tour Dates

3/3 :: Northampton, MA :: The Parlor Room
3/4 :: Cambridge, MA :: Club Passim
3/7 :: Katonah, NY :: Caramoor Center for The Arts (opening for Dom Flemons)
3/10 :: New York, NY :: Joe’s Pub (Full band + Aoife O'Donovan & Ruth Ungar on harmony vocals & Amy Helfand on shadow puppets)
4/1 :: Portland, OR :: Alberta Street Public House (co-bill w/ Ruth Moody)
4/4 :: Seattle, WA :: Town Hall (opening for The Onlies)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kristin Andreassen short bio

‘Gondolier' finds songwriter Kristin Andreassen juxtaposing deep traditional roots with modern Brooklyn indie influences. Featuring guests (Aoife O'Donovan, Jefferson Hamer and Punch Brother Chris Eldridge to name a few) from the exploding New York folk scene, but written largely on a remote island in New Hampshire, the lyrically and instrumentally rich arrangements on Andreassen’s first studio album explore secret passageways connecting the outer edges of disparate notions – urban and rural, childhood and old age, expectation and reality. 2015 sees Andreassen performing on syndicated radio shows Woodsongs, Mountain Stage, and Music City Roots while earning raves from the UTNE Reader, Pop Matters, and CMT Edge. Before embarking on her solo journey, Andreassen toured the world with the stringband Uncle Earl, with her folk-noir trio Sometymes Why, and as a clogger with Maryland's Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. Along the way, she's performed and recorded alongside such maverick talents as John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Dirk Powell (Joan Baez, Cold Mountain), Sufjan Stevens, Aoife O'Donovan, Black Prairie and New York anti-folk icon Jeffrey Lewis. Her debut CD Kiss Me Hello was a collection of kitchen recordings that made fast friends with those who stumbled upon it, including Garrison Keillor of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. The album kicks off with the John Lennon Song Contest Grand Prize-winning "Crayola Doesn't Make a Color for Your Eyes," which has been covered by dozens of diverse artists ranging from Tyne Daly to more than one high school marching band.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sex Toy Bingo photo

IDs: DJ Cake Patrol, Becca Schaffer, Chris Scarciotta Russell
Credit: Rachmael Pre-Guiliani