Song Premieres

  • Song Premiere: Anya Hinkle, "Hills of Swannanoa"

    • August 12, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Anya Hinkle’s “Hills of Swannanoa” captures the beauty and mystery of the area around Asheville, Swannanoa, and Black Mountain, North Carolina, vividly telling a story of an event that shaped the lives of individuals and the community for years. Moving so adeptly between moods of light and dark, she brilliantly captures the ways that beauty often carries within it the seeds of its own destruction, as well as the inarticulate sadness that such destruction brings.

  • Song Premiere: Kronos Quartet & Friends, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

    • July 29, 2020
    • Kim Ruehl

    To pay tribute to Pete Seeger, the Kronos Quartet enlisted the voices of Sam Amidon, Aoife O’Donovan, and others to tell the tale in a sort of relay, with a new voice for every verse. The result feels like the song is posing a question that a community ponders, rather than being the rumination of a single singer. Indeed, in these challenging and often troubling times, many of us find ourselves wondering when we will ever learn.

  • Song Premiere: Christian Sedelmyer, "Deacon Waltz" (feat. Jerry Douglas)

    • May 05, 2020
    • Kelly McCartney

    Here, Sedelmyer and dobro master Jerry Douglas, with whom he regularly plays, take turns teasing out both the heartache and hope with support from Andrew Marlin on mandolin, Eli West on guitar and banjo, and Clint Mullican on double bass. In addition to Ravine Palace, this group of musicians, minus Douglas, gathered together for Marlin's solo album back in 2018 and again, only recently, for West's next release. Their comfort with and confidence in each other allows space within this song, and the rest of the album, for the music to work its magic.

  • Song Premiere: The Lowest Pair, "Shot Down the Sky"

    • April 10, 2020
    • Kelly McCartney

    “It's about the sky falling. The idea of wanting — or what you think you want in a moment — going for it, and then exploring the fascinating aftermath,” Winter explains, adding. “And it’s about letting go of expectations, acceptance. But really the imagery of being on the ground with the moon and stars all around is what drove my lyrics. The literal idea of the sky falling, but like out of a kid's picture where the land ends an inch up from the bottom of the page and the sky is just that top trim of the paper. And all the little balls and suns come tumbling down."

  • Song Premiere: Liz Longley, "Torture"

    • April 06, 2020
    • Kelly McCartney

    "This is a song about being so in love with someone that it’s torture to be apart,” Longley explains. “It’s taken on a whole new meaning in this time of quarantining, when some are forced to be separated from the one they love.”

  • Song Premiere: Jon Stickley Trio, "Scripting the Flip"

    • March 31, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    "Sometimes when we are in bluegrass jams, the rhythms will accidentally get switched around and the song suddenly sounds very strange and backwards. I’ve always loved those moments and wanted them to last as long as possible. This song was written a little backwards on purpose and it made me think about the general mindset of the Trio. We embrace mistakes and like to go out on a limb and experiment with things. When we do, we try to do it with grace and the utmost respect for the art form."

  • Song Premiere: Lara Downes with Howard Fishman, "All Night, All Day"

    • March 30, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    Downes says, “I sure am feeling this song right now, as we go to bed each night with so much uncertainty about what the next day will bring. If ever we've needed angels to watch over us, it's now. And we have to BE each other's angels, watching over each other and keeping each other safe. We have the power to guard and protect each other, and get through this crisis. This song goes out to our community with so much love. Stay safe, stay well, stay strong...”

  • Song Premiere: Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn, "Four Seasons"

    • March 24, 2020
    • Kim Ruehl

    Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei have toured together in the US before, delivering a slightly spacy, bizarre blend of American and Chinese folk sounds. Now, as they embark on the release of their first collaborative album, titled simply Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn, they bring listeners music that demonstrates how closely tied are the deep traditions of American folk (seeded in this case, mostly, by English, Irish, and Scottish traditions) and the ancient folk songs of China.