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Rachel Baiman & Tall Poppy String Band w/Chatham Rabbits presented by KGNU

May 25, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

KGNU excitedly welcomes Rachel Baiman and Tall Poppy String Band back to Swallow Hill!

About Rachel Baiman

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 inabilityto be all things, while simultaneously pushing to new heights with her message, and delivering a heartbreaking, albeit beautiful, assessment of her country.

About Chatham Rabbits

North Carolina is a place so identifiable by its separate regions – the mountains, the piedmont, the coast – that it has the tendency to feel indescribable, meaning one can conceptualize the state as a mashup of places rather than a single locale. The art and artists born from the state often embody that same sense of blended regions, borrowing from broad cultural traditions and plumbing the histories of others’ stories on the way to telling their own. Because of this, many North Carolina artists can call a particular region home, but their work belongs to the state because the entirety of the state has opened itself to them and they have opened themselves to it. Chatham Rabbits exemplify North Carolina’s tradition of producing artists who embrace the state’s many cultural resources and diverse musical traditions.

In their marriage and in their music, Chatham Rabbits’ Austin and Sarah McCombie also blend their own histories into a shared musical experience. Sarah first took the stage as part of a trio known as the South Carolina Broadcasters, a band that harkened back to the old days of the Grand Ole Opry and AM radio country classics. Meanwhile, Austin played keyboards and guitar for an electronic band called DASH. Given these histories, how would Chatham Rabbits describe their musical marriage?

“We’re not purists,” Austin says.“

And we’re certainly not the hippest,” Sarah adds.

“But we’ve been able to belong nowhere and everywhere at the same time,” Sarah says, and I would have to agree.

The first time I saw Chatham Rabbits play live they were opening for the Steep Canyon Rangers at an outdoor amphitheater in Wilmington, North Carolina. As Austin and Sarah kicked off their set, I was both mystified and confused by what I was seeing. How could two young people so perfectly embody the sound and feeling of old-time music? How could two people so well versed in old-time music recast it in a way that felt new and fresh? As soon as the show was over, I worked my way backstage, hoping to meet Austin or Sarah or both. But they weren’t back there. They were out front, mingling with the audience, signing copies of their new record, and hearing stories from new fans and sharing stories of their own.

That’s how their music feels: immediate, personal, available. With their first album, 2018’s All I Want from You, Chatham Rabbits shared the many stories they’d heard over their years growing up in North Carolina. With The Yoke Is Easy, the Burden Is Full, they’re sharing their own stories. They’re not purists. They’re not hip. They’re more than that: they’re North Carolina musicians, meaning they belong nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

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 endeavors to prove that tradition is still being written. On their new self-titled album the trio draws from their personal collection of old time treasures, with four tracks contributed from each member, individually researched, brought to the collective and polished into a unique artifact


Swallow Hill Music – Daniels Hall
71 E. Yale Avenue
Denver, CO 80210 United States