The Oldtown Music Company are delighted to kick off our second season of shows with this exceptional double bill at the Stables. This show will be a debut Mullingar performance for both of these acts and is not to be missed!
Nearly four years on from her critically-acclaimed second album, Tied To The Moon, Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni is back with her third full-length, So It Turns – due for release on August 23rd. The ten-track album is Rachel’s most ambitious yet, her self-confessed ‘folk noir’ taken to alluring and often-unexpected new heights. In support of the release, Rachel will set out on a tour of the UK and Ireland, which will include a stop at London’s St Pancras Church on the 10th October.
Where Rachel’s last album saw her incorporate darker, grungier elements into her sound, So It Turns sees the Carrbridge-based artist go for something far more composed and polished, but not at the expense of those rockier moments – instead, tuning her craft to a more eclectic and left-field range of reference points. Thanks to the album’s live recording process, the artful production of Axel Reinemer at Berlin’s Jazzanova Studios and the mercurial, genre-shifting instrumentation of her band, the record leaves you uncovering new layers of sonic subtleties with each and every listen. In terms of the subject matter, Rachel weaves stories about everything from her time spent at a Buddhist monastery at the borders of Scotland, to the anticipation and woes of long-distance relationships and the hopelessness, and/or desire for action, that Trump, Brexit and the refugee crisis have inspired over several years.
“…their highly melodic, immaculately crafted songs are arranged to use the diverse instrumental talents of its members, their angelic lead voices and, most pertinently, their exquisite vocal harmony” The Australian ★★★★★
“[The Maes] were easily the breakout act at Folk Alliance” The Bluegrass Situation
“[The Maes] have made a meteoric mark on the national acoustic music scene” Rhythms
Multi-award-winning Melbourne contemporary folk outfit, The Maes (formerly The Mae Trio) is the brainchild of sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby. Born into the arms of the Folk music community in Australia, both sisters were side of stage at their first folk festival when they were four weeks old and have been absorbing and exploring folk music since that time.
The Maes’ latest, self-titled record set (released May 2019) is a return to the sisters’ folk music roots. Gentle, intimate and conversational, the album is an unadorned showcase of Maggie and Elsie’s superb songwriting as well as honest, relaxed and stunning vocal and instrumental performances. The album was born on a two-month tour of Europe and North America in 2018 shortly after the band changed its name from The Mae Trio to The Maes after the departure of founding member Anita Hillman. The sisters started the tour with a recording session in Canada, intending to make a four track EP. Fired up by the changes in the band, inspired and bursting with new music they kept looking for new recording opportunities as the tour progressed. By the end of the tour they had two tracks from Nova Scotia, Canada, two songs from the Isle of Mull in Scotland, two songs from different studios in Ireland and four songs recorded in their home town of Melbourne.
The album features production from top roots music producers from around the world including, Daniel Ledwell (Oh Pep!, Jenn Grant, Good Lovelies), John Fitzgerald (Christy Moore, Crooked Still, Lisa Hannigan) and Brendon Love (Teskey Brothers). The album also features cello and harmony vocals by award-winning Brisbane musician, Monique Clare who regularly tours with The Maes. “This is the album we never really intended to make” says Maggie (banjo, guitar, vocals) “we were struck by the ease and serendipity with which it came together, like it was just ready to come out of us. I love this record, I’ve never made anything that feels so comfortable and honest. I also reckon it’s our strongest collection of songs to date”. “We were deep into making this album before we knew we were making an album. There is a beautiful absence of pressure and self-consciousness that happened as a result; like the opposite of having a camera pointing at you while you arrange your face into a ‘normal and happy expression’. We were truly playing in the studio. In a few senses.” ~ Elsie (mandolin, violin, vocals)
Their latest release follows on from their sophomore album, Take Care Take Cover, which was recorded in Nashville by Grammy nominated producer/engineer Erick Jaskowiak (The Waifs, Crooked Still, Darrell Scott) and featuring some of that music town’s finest roots musicians. The record won them the Age, Music Victoria Folk/Roots Album of the Year in 2017 as well as rave reviews in Australia and overseas. Since 2014, The Maes have been full time touring in Australia and overseas, winning over audiences with their striking songwriting, intricate instrumental arrangements and stunning vocal harmonies. The band’s touring history includes a list of some of the worlds largest and most prestigious music festivals such as, the Woodford and Port Fairy Folk Festivals in Australia, The Edmonton and Vancouver Folk Festivals in Canada, Cambridge Folk and Celtic Connections festivals in the UK and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the USA.