Rachel Baiman & the Tall Poppy String Band
May 25 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm$25.00
Raised in Chicago, Baiman made her way to Nashville at 18 with the dream of being a professional fiddle player and has since released two solo records and an EP, alongside session and side-person work with Kacey Musgraves, Kevin Morby, and Molly Tuttle among many others. As a songwriter, she has garnered a reputation for her specific brand of political and personal lyricism, which Vice’s Noisey described as ‘Flipping off Authority one note at a time”.
“When I was a kid, my dad was in this tiny fringe political group called Democratic Socialists of America” explains songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman. “That was considered really extreme, and something I didn’t tell my friends about. Now my generation has had to wake up to the intensity of our own economic oppression. We sit around talking about how anyone affords to buy a house, and how we can get rich people to pay for our albums”, she laughs. Baiman finds hope in this shared experience as a mechanism for activism. On Common Nation of Sorrow, Baiman’s third LP, she tells stories of American capitalism, and the individual and communal devastation it manifests.
In contrast with her previous work, Baiman is the sole producer of Common Nation of Sorrow. After recording for twelve days in Nashville with Grammy-Award-winning engineer Sean Sullivan, Baiman traveled to Portland, OR, where she spent two weeks mixing the record with famed engineer and producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket/The Decemberists/First Aid Kit).
On “Common Nation of Sorrow”, Baiman has found a production style to match her straightforward writing. Baiman displays a certain self-awareness and comfort with the inability to be all things, while simultaneously pushing to new heights with her message, and delivering a heartbreaking, albeit beautiful, assessment of her country.
Tall Poppy String Band
Tall Poppy String Band is a brand new Old Time trio featuring fiddler George Jackson, guitarist Mark Harris, and banjoist Cameron DeWhitt. Drawing from the deep well of American string band music, Tall Poppy String Band approaches tradition with playful curiosity; each performance more a discussion than a statement. Whether they’re chasing the elusive downbeat of a source recording, playing with the pronouns in a bluegrass standard, or challenging the assumed roles of their instruments, Tall Poppy String Band endeavours to prove that tradition is still being written.
Cameron DeWhitt is a clawhammer banjoist based in Portland, Oregon, named by R.D. Eno of Banjo Newsletter as being “…among the finest clawhammer banjo players alive.” They are the innovator behind pitchfork banjo, a three-finger clawhammer technique that allows for a degree of melodic and rhythmic freedom that is rarely seen in old time banjo playing. Cameron is also the creator and host of Get Up in the Cool, a weekly old time music and interview podcast featuring conversations and musical collaborations with some of the most influential traditional musicians working today.
George Jackson is a New Zealand-born fiddle player based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is known for Time and Place, his acclaimed 2019 album of original old time fiddle tunes (from which sprang the old time viral hit “Dorrigo”) and now Hair and Hide, his new collection of fiddle/banjo duets with some of the brightest stars of the banjo world. George has toured both as a band leader and with such artists as Jake Blount, Front Country, Peter Rowan, Missy Raines, and many more. He is the three-time winner of the Australian National Bluegrass Championship on fiddle, and the recipient of the 2019 Mike Auldridge composition award from the DC Bluegrass Union.
Mark Harris is a guitarist based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally from Australia, they have made a name for themselves by rethinking the role of the guitar in old time music, developing a style of melodic playing that recreates the droning, driving sound characteristic of old time fiddle and banjo. In 2020 Mark released their debut album Old Time Guitar, a collection of fifteen solo guitar instrumentals that showcase their groundbreaking approach. Their music has been featured on The Bluegrass Situation and the podcast Relax Your Grid (with Matt Brown).