The Early Mays “bring traditional and original material to spectacular life” (Cindy Howes, Folk Alley/WYEP) with Appalachian-inspired songs built on deep country sensibilities, masterful singing and a sweet old-time sound. They burst on to the scene with a #2 debut on the National Folk-DJ charts: an eponymous album where fiddle, banjo and guitar are the backdrop to flawless three part vocal harmonies. More recently, they took home the blue ribbon in the Neo-Traditional Band Competition at Clifftop (The Appalachian String Band Music Festival), and this summer they launch their latest project, “Chase the Sun”: a mix of driving tunes, sparkling acoustic arrangements, harmonium, and songs to make your heart sing.

Emily Pinkerton, Ellen Gozion and Rachel Eddy share a deep love of American tradition.  All three are celebrated solo artists who bring their rich and carefully honed craft to The Early Mays. Emily weaves folk, classical and world music traditions together in her songwriting. She recently won a 2015 New Music USA grant to compose a song cycle for banjo and chamber ensemble. Ellen is an accomplished ballad singer and visual artist who has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center, and was an American Music Abroad finalist with the US State Department.  Born and raised in West Virginia, Rachel is a prolific performer who has shared the stage with musical legends including Tim O’Brien, Uncle Earl and Bruce Molsky.  She recently moved back to the US after 6 years of living and touring in Europe.

There is an unsurpassed magic that springs from entwined and entrancing vocal harmonies.  The Early Mays love the camaraderie of the studio, the road, and rehearsals, and you can feel the gratitude radiate from whatever stage they are on.  You’ll never leave a show without carrying a little bit of that warmth away with you.


The Early Mays were originally formed in 2013 by Emily, Ellen and their friend Judith Avers who left the group in 2015 to focus on her family and songwriting. The Mays are grateful for the love, time and talent she lent this group from the earliest beginnings, and wish her the best. We’d also like to thank Frances Southwick (the “fourth May”) whose enthusiasm was also part of the foundation of our band. You can keep in touch with Judith at

Artwork by Maria Mangano