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 in 2014 with a #2 debut on the National Folk-DJ charts: an eponymous album where fiddle, banjo and guitar are the backdrop to heart-melting three part vocal harmonies. Most recently, they took home the blue ribbon in the Neo-Traditional Band Competition at Clifftop 2016 (The Appalachian String Band Music Festival), appeared on NPR’s Mountain Stage in August 2017, and hit the #1 position on the National Folk-DJ Charts with their latest release, “Chase the Sun.”
Emily Pinkerton, Ellen Gozion and newest member, Rachel Eddy, share songs based in a love of American tradition, while also exploring their own creative voices. 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 New Music USA grant to compose a song cycle for banjo and chamber ensemble, scheduled for release on New Amsterdam Records, November 2017. 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 moved back to the US last year 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 www.judithavers.com or at www.thesongjar.com.