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David Mallett’s latest album, Greenin Up, is the culmination of a musical career that began when Mallett was eleven years old, playing in a country and folk duo,The Mallett Brothers, with his older brother, Neil.. Mallett includes three new songs — “Fat of the Land”, “Dogs & Horses” and “Beautiful Rose” — along with re-recordings of his better known tunes like the American classic “Garden Song,” “Summer of My Dreams,” “I Knew This Place”, “Good Times” and “April.”
As an acting student at the University of Maine, Mallett discovered the music of singer songwriters like Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan and soon began writing his own songs.
Mallett increasingly expanded his repertoire with original tunes. A turning point in Mallett’s career came in 1975, after he discovered that Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary had moved to Blue Hill, Maine and was opening a recording studio. Within six months of their initial meeting, Mallett found a true mentor in Stookey, Stookey helped to bring his tune, “The Garden Song”, to the attention of influential folksinger Pete Seeger who included it on his 1979 album, “Circles And Seasons.” John Denver soon recorded the song and took it to the top ten in the adult contemporary charts in the late 70s.“The Garden Song,” recorded hundreds of times and performed around the world, has gone on to find its place amidst the lexicon of American folk songs. While in Nashville, with the help of veteran producer Jim Rooney, Mallett recorded a total of three records for Chicago-based Flying Fish Records and two collections for Vanguard and wrote songs recorded by Marty Stuart, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea, Alison Krauss and others.
Meanwhile his “Ballad of the St. Annes Reel” from his second album evolved into a folk classic played around the world. Since returning to Maine in 1995, Mallett has recorded two cds for Rounder / Flying Fish in the 90s and tour nationally Canada and in the UK.He has released 5 cds on his own North Road label in the last ten years, including Artist In Me (acclaimed by Associated Press as one of the year’s best records), Midnight on the Water (a live cd), The Fable True (in which he successfully explored the spoken word realm with his collection of Henry David Thoreau’s stories about his visits to Maine in the mid 1800′s with instrumental soundtrack). His 2009 release, Alright Now, was proclaimed “a masterpiece” by the Boston Globe.. http://davidmallett.com/
The new album from young African-Canadian roots phenom Kaia Kater couldn’t come at a better time. As a new generation takes the reins, American roots music is needed more than ever to remind us of the troubled pathways of our own history. Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties to Canadian folk music in her Toronto home; the other the years she spent learning and studying Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her acclaimed debut album Sorrow Bound (May 2015) touched on this divide, but her new album, Nine Pin (May 2016), delves even further, and casts an unflinching eye at the realities faced by people of colour in North America every day. Her songs on the new album are fueled by her rich low tenor vocals, jazz-influenced instrumentation, and beautifully understated banjo, and they’ve got as much in common with Kendrick Lamar right now as they do with Pete Seeger.
Recorded in just one day in Toronto, Nine Pin was produced by both Kater and acclaimed Canadian artist Chris Bartos (The Barr Brothers, Jonathan Byrd), who also produced her last album, Sorrow Bound Few artists could pull off such a polished, cohesive album in one day, but Kater felt that this actually lent focus to the project. As a concept album, Nine Pin weaves between hard-hitting songs that touch on modern issues like the Black Lives Matter movement (“Rising Down,” “Paradise Fell”) and more personal narratives speaking to life and love in the digital age (“Saint Elizabeth”). And while these larger stories are deftly crafted, this is really an album of moments. Kater’s a cappella voice speaking to the loneliness of a city in “Harlem’s Little Blackbird” while solo dance steps echo in the background, the muted hesitancy of Caleb Hamilton’s trumpet breaking the trance of “Little Pink,” the smoke of electric guitar that cuts through “Saint Elizabeth,” the wave-like ebb and flow of piano behind the plaintive love poem “Viper’s Nest…” All of these moments point to an artist wise beyond her years. www.kaiakater.com