In the Spotlight – WTF’s Mandy Greenfield
Musical Showcase – And The Kids ‘Champagne Ladies’
On February 22, 2019, And The Kids release When This Life Is Over, their highly anticipated third album for Signature Sounds. Praised by NPR for "striking vocals [that] rival the vibrato and boldness of Siouxsie Sioux...and music that's both fearless and entertaining," And The Kids return with a bold continuation of their chunky indie rock meets blissful new wave sound.
Musical Showcase – Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion ‘Speed of Light’
Nearly a decade after folk-rock duo Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion put out their first album together, the husband-and-wife pair feel like they’ve finally hit their stride on Wassaic Way, a collection of 11 new songs to be released August 6th on Rte 8 Records. Produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Patrick Sansone at the Loft in Chicago, Wassaic Way finds Guthrie and Irion pushing further beyond the folky sound they established on 2005’s Exploration, their first studio LP. After Irion’s solo album Ex Tempore in 2007, the live album Folksong in 2009 and the children’s collection Go Waggaloo in 2009, the pair began expanding their sonic horizons on 2011’s Bright Examples, an album that drew praise from American Songwriter magazine for its “lush, dreamy sound.” “This record is a departure from a folk duo,” Irion says. “I think this is the best example we’ve been able to present that shows the many facets of what we can do. There’s loud guitars, there’s soundscapes, there’s a lushness to it, there’s a popness, an edge. But that can be difficult sometimes to bring it all together and present it.”
Musical Showcase – The Mammals ‘Ashokan Farewell’
A concert by The Mammals is healing and inspirational. It’s not only the magic of their combined voices; Ruth Ungar’s remarkably soulful grace and Mike Merenda’s hushed and intimate ease, it’s also the lyrics themselves that strike deep and spark smiles. Nominated for Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards, the title track of their 2018 album Sunshiner is an instant full-room sing-along, with a chorus that honors the past while envisioning a bright future of green energy, and good, positive human collaboration. The band’s quintet lineup features dynamic drummer Konrad Meissner and a rotating inner circle of their favorite bass and organ/piano players. The Mammals joke that they’re “too folk for the rock show” and “too rock for the folk show” but in reality they hit the critical emotional and sonic touchstones of both. Their performances are propelled forward buy just the right amount of guitar grit, soothing harmony, barn-burning fiddle, retro grooves, and storytelling savvy.