Robt Sarazin Blake & The Letters: Over 20 years into making music, Blake celebrates his unusual song forms, which land between spoken word, folk song, rock song, and theatrical installation, with the title of his new double album, Recitative. Recitative, also known by its Italian name “recitativo,” is a style of delivery in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech—a style that permeates Blake’s music over the folk- and blues-inspired rock laid down by his backing band.
The Letters—Connor Kennedy on guitar, Lee Falco on drums, Brandon Morrison on bass and Will Bryant on piano—represent the next generation of the “Hudson Valley sound” started by Bob Dylan and The Band. The list of where they’ve played is tall and long, from Levon’s Barn to Carnegie Hall. With the support of The Letters, Blake is able to paint with broader strokes and more vivid colors; the band is a Ferrari in idle waiting to roar between the narratives and vignettes.
Blake’s performances have been described as “powerful” and “intense,” like “Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway and a proton bomb all combined into one”; his storytelling has been called “one of the best forms of concert entertainment ever experienced.”
The Mammals featuring Mike and Ruthy: Mike and Ruthy, touring American folk act and founders of The Mammals, are bringing back the band name that energized crowds in the '00s and gave them their start. "We've always been Mammals at heart," laughs Ruth Ungar, the band's soulful singer and fiddler. "The music we're making has the same old-time and Americana roots, and our lyrics have gotten more political again." It's true, The Mammals were known for their rabble-rousing musical statements which sometimes caused a stir with politically divided audiences from Louisiana to Michigan. "If you tell the whole truth you won't please everyone," smiles Mike Merenda. He's the songwriter and guitar/banjo player who's 2004 Mammals anthem "The Bush Boys" made the Dixie Chicks seem downright polite.
"The Mammals don’t suffer from multiple genre syndrome, they celebrate it as if gleefully aware that the sound barriers separating old-timey music, vintage pop and contemporary folk are as permeable as cotton.” - Washington Post