Video Premieres

  • Video Premiere: Raffi Joe Wartanian, "Never Forever"

    • May 26, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    “’Never Forever’ is a meditation on impermanence, and a musical exploration of how cultures can converse. Like the entire album Critical Distance, I tried to find the songs, and articulate them as faithfully as possible. There was no specific stylistic agenda, but more so an open-hearted approach to letting the music lead the way. "

  • Video Premiere: Jake Blount, "Beyond This Wall"

    • May 24, 2020
    • Kelly McCartney

    Joined here by Tatiana Hargreaves, Blount works through "Beyond This Wall" from his upcoming debut album Spider Tales (out 5/29 on Free Dirt Records). Written by Judy Hyman well before anyone in particular was talking about building any walls, the tune was actually named by Hyman's husband, Jeff Claus, after he saw an old photo of the entrance to a lesser-known concentration camp. Blount welcomed the tune into the Black string band canon because the experiences of and expressions by one group of marginalized people very often mirror those of another.

  • Video Premiere: Twisted Pine, "Amadeus Party"

    • May 08, 2020
    • Henry Carrigan

    What happens when the Punch Brothers meets Jean-Luc Ponty and Ian Anderson and they stroll down Mozart lane? Why, Twisted Pine’s beguiling and catchy “Amadeus Party,” of course. Mandolinist Dan Bui scats down the frets of his mandolin to open the tune, while flautist Anh Phung trills in counterpoint, providing the foundation for fiddler Kathleen Parks to float in with her sensuous fiddle runs. The merry band scampers along with fiddle, flute, and mandolin weaving in and around each other, the music spiraling into a joyous party song, and the bluegrass jazz turns disco as the band shouts “Amadeus Party,” with members of Twisted Pine dressed for the occasion.

  • Video Premiere: Pharis & Jason Romero, "Hometown Blues"

    • April 14, 2020
    • Kim Ruehl

    For this song, “Hometown Blues,” the duo drew from the story of Pharis’s father, who returned to Horsefly, B.C., after living for a time in larger cities like Vancouver and Montreal. For the instrumental arrangement, the couple leaned on the aesthetic and low-tuned banjo style of their shared hero John Hartford.

  • Video Premiere: Mark Erelli, "The River Always Wins"

    • April 09, 2020
    • Kelly McCartney

    “It started out simply enough, trying to describe the tension between a small town and a river,” Erelli says. “One needs the other, but the cycles of disaster and rebirth started to make us wonder if the reverse was true. When we decided to write it as if the river itself were the song’s protagonist, things got far more interesting. The central riff of the song is one of the favorite things I’ve ever written. I could play it for days."

  • Video Premiere: KaiL Baxley, "In Lieu Of"

    • February 20, 2020
    • Kelly McCartney

    Visually, the slow-rolling, lush cinematography echoes the musical soundscape it represents even as it contrasts the barren landscape it captures. “We wanted this video to encapsulate the love between two people over a lifetime,” Baxley explains. “The apocalyptic backdrop driving the point that true love only becomes more vibrant in the toughest of times. It’s a poetic visual.”

  • Video Premiere: Taylor Ashton, "Nicole"

    • January 14, 2020
    • Cindy Howes

    Taylor Ashton, founding member of the Canadian alt-folk band Fish & Bird, showcases his groove on “Nicole,” the latest single from his forthcoming solo debut, The Romantic (Signature Sounds.) On the track, Ashton, an incredibly versatile and talented musician, imagines a world where catastrophic disasters and human progress can all be rewound in the name of innocence and simplicity.

  • Video Premiere: Seamus Egan, "Everything Always Was"

    • January 07, 2020
    • Folk Alley staff

    "Tunes come to you in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it’s a phrase, a fragment of an idea that comes to you and you file it away to hopefully finish someday. Other times, it arrives all at once, fully formed, as if it has always existed. It was in this way the this waltz arrived to me. I sat down one afternoon and it came out of my guitar all at once. This doesn’t happen very often and certainly not nearly as often as I would like but when it does it feels like magic. I’m joined here by Kyle Sanna on guitar, David Surette on bouzouki, and Corey DiMario on double bass." - Seamus Egan

  • Video Premiere: Hawktail, "Annbjørg"

    • November 19, 2019
    • Kelly McCartney

    From their forthcoming album, Formations, due out January 10, watch Hawktail's performance of the first single, "Annbjørg," a polyrhythmic romp inspired by Norwegian fiddler, Annbjørg Lien.

  • Video Premiere: Rose Cousins, "The Benefits of Being Alone"

    • November 06, 2019
    • Kelly McCartney

    JUNO Award-winning singer/songwriter Rose Cousins is a name very closely and beautifully tied to sad tunes which is part of what makes this breezy new number, "The Benefits of Being Alone" such a breath of fresh air. It's the first track off her upcoming Bravado album, scheduled for a February 21, 2020 release via Outside Music.