Anais Mitchell presents songs from her brand new album, 'Young Man in America', together with songs from her earlier albums. Mitchell will be accompanied by her Young Man band for the first time in the UK.
Young Man in America is the follow-up to Anais Mitchell's critically beloved folk opera Hadestown (Righteous Babe Records 2010) whichreceived sensational reviews and landed Mitchell on numerous 'Best of 2010' lists in both the national and international press.
Switching gears, Mitchell returns here to a more traditional solo record, but those familiar with Hadestown will hear its overtones in Young Man. It's an epic, sprawling tale with characters leaping from the verses as they would from the pages of a novel. As a songwriter, Mitchell takes on the voices of different characters, men as well as women. Sometimes these voices speak in ornate, old-fashioned tongues - the language of British Isles balladry and the Old Testament.
Mitchell once again enlisted the skills of Hadestown producer Todd Sickafoose. Taking the reins as producer/arranger of Young Man in America, Sickafoose assembled some of Brooklyn's most sought-after rock and experimental jazz players, guitarist Adam Levy, violinist Jenny Scheinman and drummers Kenny Wollesen and Andrew Borger to name but a few. Chris Thile appears on mandolin as well as alongside songwriters Jefferson Hamer and Rachel Ries in a harmonic chorus. Michael Chorney, the man behind Hadestown's remarkable score and the producer of Mitchell's previous albums (2007's The Brightness and 2004's Hymns for the Exiled) makes a guest appearance on guitar. Together they create a sound more reminiscent of a '70s rock record than that of a traditional singersongwriter.
"Multi-layered, sensationally good and endlessly absorbing... an extraordinary album." THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Hadestown', CD of the Week *****
"Nothing short of incredible" NME
Daughter of Mennonite missionaries, Ms. Rachel Ries hails from the inspiring, vast expanses of South Dakota, by way of Zaire. Her formative years were filled with Congolese spirituals, Mennonite hymns and her mom singing her to sleep with The Carpenters.
Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and viola, Rachel marries sophisticated, at times vintage, musicality to smart lyrics. With a self-taught guitar style reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt and vocals that at times recall Billie Holiday and early Maria Muldaur, her songs range from the romantic simplicity of jazz standards to the distilled intensity of poet Anne Sexton.
Rachel's first album, For You Only, was released on Waterbug Records in August of 2005. For You Only is a charming and literary work given additional breadth with a laid-back smattering of banjo, fiddle, piano, accordion, pump organ and percussion. In 2007 Rachel put her heart into making her second album, Without a Bird. Warmly analog and carefully orchestral, Without a Bird showcases the artistry of some of Chicago's finest players.
After the 2008 Righteous Babe Records release of country ep, a split 7" with friend Anais Mitchell, Rachel took a quiet break from the mad scrabble of touring and music-making. In 2010, ready to start making noise again, she began exploring sounds and forms different from her norm: from playing electric guitar in a rock & roll version of Wagner's epic Ring Cycle, to learning how to play the drums to tour in Anais' band.