Folky Twang – Emma Hill – Lake of Stew!


So the last few days I’ve been listening to some folk mixed with a little twang and twang mixed with a little folk. The first is a young folk artist originally from Alaska now living in Oregon Emma Hill and her new album Clumsy Seduction and the other is a group from Canada Lake of Stew and their first album Ain’t Tired of Lovin’. The Lake of Stew album was one of the albums that I picked up last Saturday Night at the Princeton Record Exchange!

Emma Hill‘s album Clumsy Seduction has been on the player for a few weeks now and I like the album more and more each time I listen. Emma is 22 years old and writes well beyond her years! She hails from Alaska and now lives in Portland, Oregon. She released her  first album Just Me in 2007 after having been with the group Blackbird Productions and half of the folk duo Pennies and Patches – garnering a large local recognition in Alaska. Clumsy Seduction was released in 2009 and this fall she is touring in support of the album. The neat thing about this tour is that see is taking advantage of JetBlue’s offer flat rate offer and has scheduled a twenty two tour dates covering the country!!!

Clumsy Seduction features a more full band sound and on Rhapsody they are billed as the Gentleman Callers and they do a great job. I really love the musical arrangements on the album the fiddles, pedal steel and other instruments never over power Emma’s vocals and they come in at just the right time with the right instrument!!  Again, I can go on and on about every song but a few of my favorites include the title track about well a clumsy seduction!  “Crazy” with the great chorus “just don’t call me crazy,  it drives me mad“. “Billy” about  separation and a great big love that never had an end. ” One Glass Too Many” , “Highway 101″ oh they are just all good so check them out!!

Here’s  Emma and her Gentleman Callers – with “Crazy”

The Lake of Stew album Ain’t Tired of Lovin’ was one of the unknown artists whose albums I picked up at the Princeton Record Exchange. According to their website:

LAKE OF STEW is a friendly, six-piece acoustic string band from Montreal, Quebec. They sing all original, new songs, featuring great big vocal harmonies. Lots of people call their sound old-timey, but it ain’t, it’s new-timey, though it does recall a lot of old traditions all blended together. If you need a name to put to their sound, you wouldn’t go wrong with “good-timey”. Their live shows are energetic and fun, inspiring audiences of all ages to sing and clap and wiggle along.

And I agree the lyrics are fun as is the music! The topics include “Free Medicine”, “Armadillos, “The Armadillo Song”, the Dalai Lama “Dalai Lama (Can’t Be Tired of Lovin”), “Motels of America”, “Down, Down, Down” tells the tale of being down but someday you’ll be back up! I think that the best way to describe the music is that it is infectious in a good way in a zippidity do dah way!!

Here’s Lake of Stew with “Down, Down, Down”