No Depression says of Ellis, “If ever there was a feel-good folk musician, this is the woman--somebody who really does send you off feeling better about the world.” Celebrating the beauty in everyday living, her new album Ordinary Love couldn’t come at a better time. Even amidst violence, illness and social unrest, Ellis finds joy and meaning from family and community connection. Says Ellis, “My hope for this record is that it both inspires a lighter heart while also expressing and connecting to the gravity of this moment in our human history. Can we greet our lives, each other, and even the news every day with ordinary love?"
Lauded by artists like Taj Mahal, visionary blues and roots artist Annie Mack branches out on her new EP Testify, mixing folk, rock and country gospel into her unique soulful sound. Confirming her status as "Minnesota's heir to the Mavis Staples throne" (Star Tribune), this new release is the album we need right now--honest, soul-filled songs to lift our spirits and spring us into action so we can make ourselves and the world a little more loving.
Beloved Billboard-charting duo Storyhill celebrated their 30th anniversary by releasing two new albums in the last year--Where to Begin and Bethlehem. Back from a 4-year hiatus, Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson returned to some rarely heard material from the early days of their three-decade partnership, giving new life to old songs. Surprisingly fresh, these new recordings give a glimpse of the duo’s early work while showcasing their seasoned musicianship and hallmark harmonies. Look for the return of their popular fan festival Storyhill Fest in August 2021.
Named Best Songwriter of 2020 by City Pages, folk/pop songwriter Mary Bue just released The World is Your Lover. Her first full album in three years, it is a synthesis of her seven-plus releases, merging pianos and guitars, spiritual longing, and real-world sorrow. Mixing folk, pop and Americana sounds, the album features an all-star cast of players that includes Alan Sparhawk (Low), Adm Levy (The Honeydogs, Turn Turn Turn), Shannon Frid-Rubin (Cloud Cult), Molly Maher and Jeremy Ylvisaker.
LESLIE RICH & THE ROCKET SOUL CHOIR
Drawing comparisons to America’s most revered rock songwriters like Tom Petty and John Mellencamp, Belfast-born Leslie Rich writes songs that are immediate and timeless, whether singing about unrequited love, hitting rock bottom or just finding the will to keep going in the face of extreme hardship. Together with his Minnesota-based trio, he makes perfectly crafted pop songs that showcase the band’s tight groove and Americana-inspired harmonies, delivering joy and optimism at a time when we need it most. Their new album The Butcher's Boy is "fun, super dance-able rock music" (Mostly Minnesota).
A child of the Sonoran Desert, Jaspar Lepak is a Seattle-based folk/Americana songwriter whose remarkable gift for melody is only surpassed by her poetry. Although often drawing comparisons to folk and country greats Emmylou Harris and Kate Wolf, Jaspar has a voice all her own and has "more than enough beauty and original charm to make you a fan" (Rolling Stone South Africa). Her new album Desert Ghosts was written over the span of 10 years and documents a time of deep personal change and reflect the landscapes of the places she has lived--the savannas of South Africa, the plains of Minnesota, the rainforests of Washington and the canyons of the Southwest.