In 2011, Red Tail Ring released two studio recordings featuring a unique two-way connection between old and new- I. Middlewest Chant showcases the duo’s original songs and II. Mountain Shout features the duo’s favorite traditional tunes. These projects blend the loving attention of revivalist fervor with the raw creativity of brand new sounds. Whether rendering a traditional tune or one of their many original compositions, the duo infuses each song with musical imagination, haunting harmonies and instrumental artistry. As Premo states, “The albums are companion pieces that stand alone but also complement one another. The crossover between old and new is constant in the music Michael and I write and play.” Regarding I. Middlewest Chant, she adds, “We wanted to show references of the traditional forms that have inspired us in our new writing.”
All songs on I. Middlewest Chant are written by Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo, except for a few choice arrangements and melody references that show the strong ties to a traditional foundation. "Hangman" is a combination of the haunting international ballad "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" and the Southern spiritual "Hold the Wind, Don't Let it Blow," with additional music and lyrics by Red Tail Ring. "Peshtigo," a ballad about the Great Peshtigo Fire of October 1871, contains a melody from the traditional "Old Man At the Mill." In one final pairing, Laurel Premo composed a complementing tune to the traditional "Shaking Down The Acorns," entitled, "The Gall Wasp" which together form the lively fiddle track, "The Oak Set."
released January 1, 2012
LAUREL PREMO – vocals, banjo, fiddles (bowed, flat-picked, and gurdied), guitar, jaw harp, stomping
MICHAEL BEAUCHAMP – vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, octave mandolin, harmonica, flat-picked fiddle, stomping
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