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Praise for Emily Pinkerton and The Early Mays
The best of two cultures and songwriting styles…Pinkerton’s songs employ earthy metaphors that reflect her spiritual and emotional world.
—NUVO, Indianapolis, IN
“Ends of the Earth” is a definite recommendation for people for whom crossing cultural bridges is a labor of love.
Pinkerton sets a poem by Venezuelan poet Henry Martinez to a traditional pajarillo and sings it with an understated passion that accents the desperate emotion of unrequited love. Pinkerton also writes solid country tunes like the honky tonk lament “Beautiful Dress” and folky tearjerkers like the dark cello-driven “Ends of the Earth.”
—Sing Out!, National Folk Music Magazine
It’s hard not to be enchanted with Emily Pinkerton’s music when it takes you from the North American Midwest to the South American Andes. The ubiquitous guitar makes it accessible, but the Latin rhythms and language turn it into an exotic, luscious thing. Pinkerton went from Valparaiso, Indiana to Valparaiso, Chile as an exchange student, taking with her a love of old-time fiddle and banjo. She became a critically acclaimed performer, singing both American old-time music and tunes in the Andean singer-songwriter style of Violeta Parra.
—Cleveland Scene, Cleveland, OH
The Early Mays are three talented writers, singers, and instrumentalists, coming together on a masterpiece of a debut album. It is clear that the folk trio— Judith Avers, Emily Pinkerton and Ellen Gozion—carefully crafted each other’s songs by adding emotionally stirring harmonies and delicate folk instrumentation (banjo, fiddle, and organ)… the group brings traditional and original material to spectacular life. This is more than a band that writes and performs songs; it’s a group of serious musicologists who have studied the folk genre all their lives. It’s a rare combination of knowledge and talent.
—Cindy Howes, WYEP, Pittsburgh, PA
They sang harmonies that made my own heart sing. Close, perfect, high and sweet; intricate parts worked out that seemed as natural as breathing.
—Susanna Robinson Kenga, LBSpy, Lewisburg, WV
…The Early Mays are a bit of a supergroup: The trio consists of Judith Avers, Ellen Gozion and Emily Pinkerton, all well known in their own rights. Together, they literally make beautiful music — a play on the Appalachian folk all three are steeped in, with close vocal harmonies, and guitar, banjo and fiddle work.
—Andy Mulkerin, Pittsburgh City Paper
2012 Press Release for “Ends of the Earth”:
“Ends of the Earth,” Emily Pinkerton’s third release, takes listeners on a journey through the rich traditions of the Andes and Appalachians in a passionate collection of powerful folk songs and original compositions. Emily’s driving force is for her music to build bridges between North and South America. Drawn from opposite ends of the earth, these songs feel right at home together in the caring and capable hands of her band. Sinuous melodies and tightly woven rhythms on guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass and cajón resonate together in the natural acoustics of the sanctuary where the album was recorded.
The spirit of the record comes across most vividly in “Cinco Veces” (Five Times) with a lyrical Chilean ballad dissolving into a rollicking fiddle tune that portrays Emily’s return to the United States after her third year living in South America. In a similar way, “Negra” (Dark Love) unites Peruvian and West Virginia melodies in an infectious banjo song that bears the stamp of two continents. Songs like “Volver a los diecisiete,” “Polo Margariteño” and “Pajarito en Sol” are tributes to legendary female musicians of South America including Violeta Parra, Soledad Bravo and Cecilia Todd. Over a luscious texture of intertwined guitars, acoustic bass, hand drums and maracas, Emily sings these Venezuelan and Chilean classics with an affection that is palpable in the high, plaintive tones of her voice. With “Beautiful Dress,” “Summer Heat,” “Take My Time” and “Ends of the Earth,” Emily also showcases her own songwriting chops in heart-rending masterpieces of Country and Americana, offering her unique take on Travis-style picking and clawhammer banjo. “The Secret” and “Crooked Rung” inhabit a place of deep poetic and musical synthesis, with Andean and North American elements so enmeshed that they are difficult to tease apart.
Late nights and long music sessions in a gorgeous acoustic space gave birth to this album. Emily and her band used the sanctuary at First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh as a recording site, capturing the particularly warm character of the room, and the feel of a live performance. José “Layo” Puentes, a bassist from Los Teques, Venezuela, brings his lifelong experience of traditional styles (on cuatro, maracas, and bass) to the group, having performed with stars of South American folk music including Eddy Marcano and Cecilia Todd. Lucas Savage, from New Mexico, is unparalleled in his sensitivity as a percussionist and specializes in flamenco cajón and various hand drums. Daniel Marcus, a brilliant bluegrass and jazz player, joined the trio last year, bringing a dynamic edge to the band with his bold melodic guitar. Enhancing the album are the fine ears of Lurch Rudyk (Sara Harmer, Kathleen Edwards, The Goodman Family, Rufus Wainwright) and the vintage analog equipment of Broadcast Lane Studios in Pittsburgh.
Growing up in Valparaiso, Indiana, Emily never imagined that the center of her musical world would move to Valparaiso, Chile, and set her on a path to performing music of the Andes. Many of these songs on this album are original compositions, but they draw from the generosity and creative spirit of her teachers. Many are traditional, but they reflect her background as a Midwesterner whose heart found a home in Chile.
Evocative, joyful and firmly rooted in folk traditions, “Ends of the Earth” is a moving synthesis of distinct cultures, and an invitation to explore the emotional and artistic resonances between them.
For promotion/interviews please contact: Kari Estrin Artist Management & Consulting, PO Box 60232, Nashville, TN 37206, 615-262-0883, email@example.com