Beehive Field Recordings: Letitia VanSant & Friends
We filmed this session on a hot July day in Baltimore’s beautiful 2640 Space, a collectively-managed event space focused on social justice and radical politics. The space was built in 1900 and originally St. Johns United Methodist Church.
Baltimore singer-songwriter Letitia VanSant’s lyrics are as personal as they are political, tracing questions of power into the human heart. With sparse indie folk arrangements fortifying a distinctly intimate vocal style, her down-to-earth stage presence has been described as vibrant and approachable. A winner of the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition, Paste Magazine named her among 10 Artist to Watch in 2020. VanSant’s debut album ‘Gut It to the Studs’ established her as an emerging talent on the Americana scene and propelled her on her first UK/European tour. Its follow-up ‘Circadian’ is due out February 21, 2020.
She is joined in this session by Baltimore musicians, David McKindley-Ward on guitar, Alex Lacquement on bass, and E.J. Shaull-Thompson on drums.
Letitia VanSant – “You Can’t Put My Fire Out”
“This song traces my journey of recovering a sense of power after an experience of sexual assault many years ago. It took me a long time to realize how profoundly it had impacted my self-esteem. But this song helped me realize that the voice in my head that told me I was worthless was not my own, and I could shout back.”
Letitia VanSant – “Tin Man”
“This character study explores how our culture’s notions of masculinity have left many men emotionally isolated, particularly as they age. I wrote it after hearing the podcast ‘The Lonely American Man’ by NPR’s The Hidden Brain.”
Letitia VanSant – “The Hustle”
“As the gig economy grows, more and more of my friends are striking out on their own to start their own businesses. While many enjoy being their own bosses, it comes at the price of security.”
David McKindley-Ward has been involved in the Baltimore/DC area Irish music scene for the past 6 years, cutting his teeth in sessions, and earning his stripes with his guitar/bouzouki playing, as well as making a name for himself as one of the area’s top singers. Drawing on his deep repertoire of traditional Irish/Scottish/and English folk ballads, he explores the old classics with a fresh new take, as well as pulling out some, often nautically themed, deeper cuts. He is currently touring with Letitia VanSant.
David McKindley-Ward – “Will You Go To Flanders”
“I learned this song from the singing of John Faulkner, from the seminal album with Dolores Keane ‘Broken Hearted I’ll Wander’. It is an old Scottish song that speaks to the old yet relatable sentiment of pacifism, a common theme of old songs and ballads through the age.”
Rooted in the sounds of American-born music Baltimore based bassist, Alex Lacquement has crafted a unique style that is dazzling, lyrical, and transcends musical genres. Whether on stage playing jazz, old-time, or bluegrass, or playing with singer songwriters his tone is unmistakable. In addition to being an energetic, assertive, and groovy ensemble player and imaginative soloist, he is a skilled arranger, composer, and producer.
Alex tours across North America playing at performing arts centers and festivals with the WAMMIE-awarded Bumper Jacksons, as well as the critically acclaimed acoustic roots quartet Charm City Junction, Ken and Brad Kolodner, and Letitia VanSant. He has a new album schedule for release later in 2020.
Alex Lacquement – “Northern White Clouds / You Live in a World of Your Own”
This medley is Alex’s take on two Bill Monroe classics.
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