Child Ballads by Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer was recently featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, in a piece by radio journalist and old-time fiddler Stephanie Coleman. We were delighted to appear alongside one of our heroes, English Folk guitarist and singer Martin Carthy. Here’s a link to the piece:
We’re excited to officially announce the forthcoming release of Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer’s new album, Child Ballads. It’s a collection of traditional songs from the British Isles, named after their collector, Francis James Child. Anais and Jefferson recorded the album in early 2012 with legendary Nashville producer Gary Paczosa. Their versions have been carefully re-imagined to reflect an American sensibility as well as a deep respect for the tradition. The beautiful artwork has been created by Peter Nevins, who also created the illustrations for Anais’ acclaimed album Hadestown.
Willie of Winsbury (Child 100)
Willie’s Lady (Child 6)
Sir Patrick Spens (Child 58)
Riddles Wisely Expounded (Child 1)
Clyde Waters (Child 216)
Geordie (Child 209)
Tam Line (Child 39)
The album is released in the UK and Europe on February 11th 2013 and in the US and Canada on March 19th 2013.
In the spring of 2012, bouzouki player, guitarist, and singer Eamon O’Leary and I recorded ten tracks in our apartments on the Lower East Side, in Park Slope, and in a studio space in Dumbo, seven floors up, right beside the Manhattan bridge. We had to wait for the trains to rumble by before we could start each take. In some of the quiet sections, close your eyes and you might even hear the D or N, taking Brooklynites home after work or midnight cocktails. The songs are old traditionals, but we worked on them a lot and gave them new melodies and textures and sections. We sang them in harmony. We picked out the best stuff and send it off to Erick Jaskowiak for mixing and mastering. Now, just in time for the holidays, the ship is in, the fat lady is singing, hell has frozen over, the northwest passage is thawing out, and Obama just won a second term in the White House. I’m proud of this album- please enjoy it and share it with your friends!
For more information on the Murphy Beds, visit any of these links:
The Murphy Beds, featuring Eamon O’Leary and Jefferson Hamer, are playing some shows in October to celebrate the recording and imminent release of their new self-titled album. Recorded in Eamon’s Lower East Side apartment, Jefferson’s erstwhile Park Slope apartment, and a studio electronica space in the famous 68 Jay Street building in Dumbo, the self-produced, homespun effort gets the Midas touch this week by the great Nashville mix engineer Erick Jaskowiak.
Get a preview of the tunes at the Brooklyn concert on Oct. 12, and pick up a physical copy of the record down at the Black Pot in Lafayette, Louisiana! In addition to playing their set Saturday at the Black Pot Chapel Stage, Eamon and Jefferson will be teaching as guest instructors at the Black Pot Camp the week of Oct. 22-26.
Tashina and I are putting out an album of original music this summer, featuring Tristan Clarridge and Simon Chrisman of the Bee Eaters. I don’t play any mandolin on that record, but here’s a jam-friendly version of Sally Goodin from 2011, which a friend of mine likened to a 1977 Scarlet Begonias-Fire On The Mountain.
I’m writing with some exciting news. My good friend and master fiddler Tashina Clarridge and I are heading to Nashville to record a brand new studio album with legendary engineer Dave Sinko! We couldn’t possibly be any more fired up!
Tashina and I played our first show almost two years ago, and after all our tours, concerts, and teaching gigs together, we’ve finally come to the perfect time (next week) and place (Dave’s house) to record our first album. To get to work with Dave Sinko is, quite simply, a dream come true. Click here to see some of the incredible records Dave has made in his storied career.
We will be recording a mix of brand-new original and way-old traditional songs, and some hand-picked (yes, that’s a pun) instrumentals. Our friends Tristan Clarridge and Simon Chrisman from Tashina’s band The Bee Eaters will be contributing their awesome cello and hammered-dulcimer skills, and we might have a few surprise Nashville friends drop in as well.
This is an incredible opportunity, and it’s all happening next week! We’re paying for the record ourselves, and we couldn’t afford to do it without your support. Instead of a full-blown internet website funding effort like Kickstarter or PledgeMusic, we’ve decided to reach out directly to our fans (that’s you) to pre-order the record to help us meet our costs. For a $20 donation, we’ll send you a signed copy of the CD the day it’s released- we’re aiming for June 5th. The CD will show up in your mailbox months before we head out on tour. Besides getting your hands on the music as soon as possible, you’ll be making the biggest difference right now by giving Tashina and I the means to make it happen.