Archive for the Category ◊ Recordings ◊

• Saturday, December 06th, 2008

Continuing the celebration of their new album, Until the Ocean, The Horse Flies will perform at Castaways in Until the Ocean - now at Ludgate Farms and other Ithaca retailersIthaca on Saturday December 13, 2009 from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.


One of the earliest bands to bring truly innovative ideas and energy to American fiddle music, The Horse Flies have undone tradition to create a unique sound that remains fresh, powerful and captivating. Artful original songs; a strong, wild groove; esteemed instrumental skills; and emotive singing come together in a mix of  alternative rock, world percussion; modern songwriting, fiddle music, and minimalism.


Featured on influential radio station KCRW, Santa Monica, CA and currently in Paste Magazine’s “Paste Recommends”, The Horse Flies’ new album, Until the Ocean, is being played around the world and garnering positive comments from all corners.

Of the new album, radio is saying things like:

“Man, this new CD is the BEST you guys have ever done. Absolutely top-notch. “Build a House and Burn It Down,” “Carnival Lips,” you just can’t pick a best cut. Nothing bad on this album. We’re playing the crap out of it at WVTF. It has gotten instant phone and e-mail response. Thanks for sending this. We’re gonna be playing this one continually for a long time.”?Seth Williamson, WVTF, Roanoke, VA

Fans are saying:

“Sounds like they used all their influences and made a darn near perfect album.” (I-Tunes user)

“Stunning new album. Boy am I a happy man. If you know the music of the Horse Flies, you’ll know what you’re in for. Wowdom. Unique and groovy.” (Quincy, MA)

Press is saying:

“Unique and treasurable” (fRoots Magazine – 5 star review)

“To start a CD review with superlatives is unusual, but outstanding, sublime, magnificent, innovative, breathtaking and arresting are terms that spontaneously come up when listening to this studio album from the Horse Flies, their first in a long time.” (Rootstime, Belgium)

“Until The Ocean, The Horse Flies’ first studio release in more than fifteen years, is an immense and captivating work of sophisticated art: not only the finest album to come out of the Ithaca area in many years, it stands among the best American releases from any region in any genre this year. While most US bands seem content to rehash and revisit well-trodden territory, only venturing tentatively and hesitantly into the uncharted landscape of new sounds and ideas, The Horse Flies confidently chart a course that transcends both topographic and sonic classification.”  (Luke Fenchel, Ithaca Times)
The Flies’ new album, Until the Ocean, is their first since the passing of their beloved bass player of 17 years, John Hayward, in 1997. Recorded at Electric Wilburland, Pyramid Sound, and the band’s Gray House, it was mixed by Canadian, Kevin Doyle (Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, Ron Sexsmith, Alannah Myles, and many more) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling  Sound in Manhattan.

The All Music Guide has just selected Until the Ocean among their Favorite Folk Albums of 2008:
and given it an excellent review:

For more information about the Horse Flies:


The new CD is now on sale at Ludgate’s Farm Market on Hanshaw Road! [map] and other local Ithaca retailers.

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Author: Guest
• Thursday, December 04th, 2008

Emily Arin is now taking subscribers for her 3rd New Music Subscription series to begin in 2009 which can be purchased on the Store page of her website. By signing up in December, you will receive a free mp3 of one of Emily’s earlier songs. If you are new to the idea, the subscription includes receiving one newly written and recorded song each month over the course of six months. Each song is sent as an mp3 via email with a story behind the song. The beauty of the project is that each subscriber plays an active role in producing new work in the world–a unique way to act as a modern day patron of the arts.

The $15 for the 3rd series will additionally help provide free music lessons (either on piano or guitar) over the six month series to three deserving students in Schuyler County, New York–the northern-most county in Appalachia where Emily currently resides.  The monthly emails will include an introduction to the students and updates on their inspirations and progress as young musicians.

Signing up is a great way to support independent music. With the holidays here, a subscription is also a unique and affordable gift to give to music-loving friends and family. The past two series were boutique in terms of the number of subscribers. It is Emily’s goal to start supporting herself as a songwriter this coming year by reaching 1,000 subscribers or more!

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Author: Pamela_G
• Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Don’t let the title scare you. What Richard Thompson did for the guitar, Myra Kovary has done for the harp. This recording is a relaxing journey through some of the most popular tunes of time. Where Thompson was reacting to an tongue-in-cheek challenge from Rolling Stone (what were the most popular songs of the last thousand years?), Kovary has invited us in to listen to fifteen of her favorite tunes through time. This is an invitation you don’t want to turn down.

Ithaca harpist, Myra Kovary has played harp with orchestras across New York, for the Dali Lama during his 1991 visit to Ithaca, and at the United Nations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has several recordings with flautist Laura Campbell, including music composed specially for her by Laurie Conrad. This is a harpist who plays well with others. Kovary’s first solo CD, In Pursuit of Happiness, allows her considerable talent and technique to shine.

Popping this CD into the player is the musical equivalent of pouring yourself a cup of tea, settling into a comfy chair, and having someone rub your shoulders. There’s something magical about the sound of harp - the variations of tone and color, the resonance of the strings, the range of sound that can be produced in the hands of a master. Myra’s new solo CD lets allows the voice of the harp to have our full attention. Thanks to masterful engineering by Will Russell at Electric Wilburland Studios, each note rings clear.

The songs Kovary presents are so familiar that each one is a visit with an old friend. And yet, the harp arrangements are fresh and new, letting us know that these old friends have something new to express. From 16th century Pavan and traditional Welsh and English songs, through Bach, Beethoven, and Debussy, all the way to Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns, Kovary presents a tour which is sure to further anyone’s pursuit of happiness. This CD is the perfect gift for that someone in your life who could use  some time to relax.

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Category: Recordings  | Tags: ,  | 5 Comments
Author: lawright
• Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

My first pick for my new blog “Local CDs That Shouldn’t Be Missed” is Pamela Goddard’s 2005 release “As Time Draws Near.” Pamela Goddard is that rare bird, the singer’s singer. With her mesmerizing mezzo-contralto, Goddard’s voice evokes a time long past, and “As Time Draws Near” is a gem you should listen to today. Goddard hails from a music-loving family, and her selection of songs shows her reverence for and keen knowledge of traditional songs. The songs of “As Time Draws Near” are English and Celtic in origin, and many were collected by archivists and song collectors in rural areas of the eastern United States in twentieth century field recordings. To hear Goddard sing these songs and bring them to life is a transporting experience.

Not too many singers can sing confidently without accompaniment, but Goddard’s voice is a distinctive and lyrical instrument, just fine on its own. In this ProTools age it is refreshing to hear the simple, organic loveliness of a human voice without the distractions of compression and auto-tuning. Throughout the CD, Goddard’s voice remains the focal instrument, with tasteful and well-placed harmonies by Glenda and Jim Blake, and musical stylings of guitarist Gail Blake and fiddler Jennifer Dotson. “As Time Draws Near” can be purchased on Goddard’s website at and, of course, at Ludgate Farms.

Lisa Ann Wright

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• Friday, October 24th, 2008

Alizé (pronounced ah-lee-ZAY) is a trio based in Ithaca, New York, whose focus is the traditional music of Brittany (the Celtic region of France) and Central France. They have just released their first CD, Le Canard perdu.

Alizé’s member’s are: Gordon Bonnet on flutes, recorder, percussion and vocals, Laurie Hart on fiddle, French hurdy gurdy (vielle à roue) and Swedish keyed fiddle (nyckelharpa) and Julia Lapp on guitar, percussion and vocals

From driving dance tunes and sweet Breton airs, to songs in French poignant or humorous, Alizé brings the centuries-old traditions of France to life, occasionally tossing an Irish reel or Spanish waltz into the mix.  Alizé is available to play concerts, for French or couple dancing, and to lead music and dance workshops.

Gordon Bonnet is a wind player and singer from Trumansburg, New York.  Born in Louisiana of French and Acadian heritage, he has played concert flute for thirty years, and received classical training in Seattle, Washington.  He has always had an interest in diverse styles of folk music, and was part of the Celtic quartet Tarradiddle from 1983 to 1992.  He was the flutist and lead vocalist on Tarradiddle’s 1989 recording By Roses Circled Round, and performed with that group at the Seattle Folklife Festival five years in a row.  In addition, he has given private instruction in classical flute and Celtic penny-whistle.  Since moving to New York, he has expanded his repertoire into Balkan and French music, and has incorporated the recorder, Irish (wooden) flute, and penny-whistle into his performances.  He has performed locally as part of the quartet Shepherd’s Pie, playing songs and tunes from the Celtic lands and Eastern Europe.  His latest project is learning the bagpipes!

Julia Lapp started playing violin in Corning NY as a child.  Since then she’s had a variety of musical incarnations. In Fairbanks, Alaska, she played fiddle with the contra dance band Celtic Confusion, and travelled the state with a Cajun band called Rouxbaboo.  In Portland, Oregon, she focussed her attention on her first love, guitar, and played electric guitar and bass with the all-female rock band June Cleavage, as well as Euro-folk with the Selkies.  While in Portland she discovered the music of Brittany, and on returning to Ithaca was thrilled to find musical soul-mates in Gordon and Laurie.  Her latest project is learning the accordion!

Laurie Hart specializes in Celtic, Québécois, Scandinavian, French and American dance music, and she also plays Swedish nyckelharpa and Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. She has performed since 1986 at contradances, concerts, festivals and dance weekends across the U.S. and Canada. Her fourth and latest recording is Cobbler’s Dream / Le Rève du cordonnier, with Québec guitarist Paul Marchand.  Laurie collected tunes in Québec in the 1990s, and wrote a book about the fiddle and accordion tradition, Danse ce soir!, published by Mel Bay.  She was the recipient of a 2002 Fulbright Award to study the music and dance of Norway and Sweden, and wrote extensively about Norwegian music for Fiddler Magazine.  Laurie attended Eastman School of Music as a violin major, and began teaching fiddle in 1990. She is now in demand as a fiddle teacher for children and adults, and has taught at Ashokan Northern Week and at Suzuki institutes around the Northeast.  Her latest project is learning the French hurdy gurdy!


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• Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Mike Levy of The Small Kings talks about their new CD which is just out. The CD release show is Tuesday October 28th at Maxie’s in Ithaca NY.

“The CD is a combination of old Small Kings standards, plus a handful of songs that we wrote in a flurry of creativity when Joel first joined the band and we changed the name from Marty Withers to The Small Kings. We spent a whole lot of time together as we got used to playing with Joel on drums and Benjamin Costello on keys, and the results were amazing.  Just by being together a lot, we found that these songs started to spring up out of nowhere.  Also, Benjamin and Joel gave us new perspectives which translated into more deliberate arrangements.  “Tale of Innocent Beginnings” and “Brooklyn” were born as extended jams and were then rounded out with lyrics from Joel’s poetry notebook.   Another handful of songs are Jeff’s.  He has a knack for putting together very original pop tunes, beautiful songs that flow in a series of movements.  “Stained Glass Window” and “Renard Fogo” are two of these, and I see them as companion songs.  There’s a lot of collaborative songwriting here, like “Comfort in Between,” which I wrote with Jeff.  That song was a huge breakthrough for me, as it was the first set of lyrics I wrote that had no sarcasm and no humor whatsoever.  “Blacktop Down” was another collaboration, written by Jeff and Frank about Joel’s budding relationship with Jocelyn.  Joel added some lyrics for the chorus, which is only fitting.

We recorded with Will Russell, and right from the start it was clear that he was a great fit for us.  He made us very comfortable.  Not only did he match our sense of humor pun for pun, but he was also very complimentary and knew just how to get us to relax and at the same time attack our performances with sharp attention.  Though we’d practiced “Brooklyn” over and over leading up to the sessions, our performance of the song at Wilburland was by far superior to anything we’d ever done.  That’s a testament to Will.  Actually, we never even planned to record it, since it’s such a sprawling jam.  But we had a little extra time on our hands, and it worked out perfectly.  Later on, Will told us that he would play the track for potential clients as an example of what’s possible at his studio.  That was as good a compliment as we could ask for.

The cover art was contributed by Dave Palmer, an Ithaca College grad who went on to create the famous “Blue” character from “Blue’s Clues.”  Dave’s currently an animation director for another hit kids show, “The Backyardigans.”   We gave him a copy of the music to serve as inspiration, and he sent us a series of sketches that he came up with.  The problem was that we liked a bunch of them, and we just couldn’t settle on one.  So we decided to go for the “Let it Be.”  That is, we went with four images set aside in boxes. (see comments by Dave below)

The CD release show will feature the newer, acoustic side of the band.   I’ll be playing upright bass and ukulele, and Jeff and Frank will stick with their acoustic guitars, with Frank adding banjo and bass here and there.  We’ll plug in after a break and then perform all of the songs from the album—in the order that they appear.  We’re lining up a bunch of special guests, including Benjamin Costello, who played keyboards on the CD.  You can also expect to see Joe Crookston come by and sing a couple.  Jenna Goodman, our close friend and one-time band mate, will hopefully saw some fiddle for a few tunes in the electric set.” -Mike Levy

The Small Kings

The new CD will be available at local retailers such as  Small World Music, Ithaca Guitar Works, Volume Records and Ludgate Farms.

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• Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Hello fiddlers! I just released a double CD (150 minutes) of 35 old-time fiddle tunes. I played each tune (on the fiddle) three ways: (1.) very slowly and simply; (2.) at a moderate tempo but with double-stops, drones and other ornaments; and (3.) up-to-tempo (but generally not too fast!).  On the CD, I have essentially included a book which includes PDFs of the tunes written out with bowings (and other style points) along with the chord progressions and a detailed discussion of bowing, phrasing and ornamentation used on the recording.  In this discussion, I cover bow-rocks, 3-1 bowing, Nashville shuffle in various formats, ghost bows, anticipations, using drones, double stops, alternate tunings, mid-bow pulses, slides, dissonances and more.  While this effort was designed for fiddlers, these CDs should serve as a source for anyone who wants to build their repertoire and practice learning tunes by ear. I selected some very common and easy tunes (for more beginning players) but also quite a few less typically played tunes.  I recorded mostly “festival” versions of the tunes in the most typically played key. If you want more information on the CDs, please email me directly or check my website. I put sound samples of the three formats along with a PDF of one tune on the website. Also, if you know anyone who might be interested in this recording, please forward this link. Thanks! - Ken Kolodner

Here is a list of the tunes: Barlow Knife; Big Scioty; Booth Shot Lincoln; Charles Guiteau; Charleston Gals; Chinquapin Hunting; Devil in the Strawstack; Elk River Blues; Flop Eared Mule; Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss; Grey Cat on an Old Tennessee Farm; Hangman’s; Hell Among the Stallions; Home with the Girls in the Morning; Journey to the Heartland; Julianne Johnson; Little Star; Liza Jane; Mike in the Wilderness; Needle Case; Puncheon Floor; Quince Dillon’s High D; Ragtime Annie; Richmond; Road Dog; Roscoe; Sally in the Garden; Sandy Boys; Shady Grove; Shove that Pigs Foot A Little Bit Further in the Fire; Single Footin’ Horse; Spotted Pony; Washington’s March; West Fork Gals; Whiskey before Breakfast

Ken has played fiddle with the open band “Your Friends and Neighbors” (Monday Nights on the Commons in the Summer) when visiting Ithaca, which is more often these days as his son attends Ithaca College now. MORE INFO and to ORDER

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Author: Will_R
• Thursday, October 02nd, 2008
Yesterday at Wilburland I had the supreme pleasure of spending the day with Ron Andrico and Donna Stewart of the duo Mignarda. They are wonderful folks and fine musicians, and we recorded a song with lute and voice. For those of you who don’t know what a lute is, it is a guitarish looking stringed instrument with a deep round back and a sharply angled headstock. It is often associated with music from the early renaissance to late baroque periods. These folks have got an amazing thing going on. Ron plays with great dynamics and finesse and Donna’s voice sounds, well, perfect!
We recorded the lute and voice together in one room hoping to record not only a natural sound but also to capture the natural dynamics of 2 people playing together, the connection that happens with two people in the same space. The challenge of course was to get the right balance of blend and separation between the two. I had Ron and Donna sit facing each other about 15 feet apart so they could see each other, but also so that the mics were facing away from the undesired sound, ie lute mics facing the lute and 180 degrees away from the voice. Of course in a reverberant space like Wilburland, which I made even more live by rolling up the rugs, there is both lute and voice reverberating in the room and a bit of this leaked into each mic helping to blend the 2 sounds on the recording. I initially had a tad more of Donna’s voice in the lute mics than I wanted so I created a non reflecting wall behind Ron to stop her voice from bouncing off the wall behind and into the lute mic. Perfect!

For the lute I chose 2 old Neumann KM86 mics in a stereo configuration about 5 feet away from the instrument, and I miked Donna with a Klaus Heyne modified Neumann U87 about 18″ away and slightly above her. All the mics went through Pendulum Audio MDP-1 tube mic preamps which I chose for their balance of articulation and richness. All this went into a ProTools HD rig running at 96k. The resultant recording was just what we hoped for. I can’t wait for you to hear it!

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• Friday, September 26th, 2008

This 2008 release features tracks of traditional New York State music -venerable old songs, ballads, dance tunes and ditties from our rural past, compiled through considerable research and interpreted tastefully with guitar, mandolin, jew’s harp, 5-string & tenor banjo, concertina, fiddle, spoons, voice and more. 12-page booklet of song notes and historical background included. I don’t sell this one - but you can buy it here

Dave Ruch is a special musician and performer widely noted for his ability to engage audiences of all kinds. Dave travels regionally from his home base in Buffalo NY, giving over 325 concerts and workshops each year for schools, music festivals, libraries, historical societies, professional conferences, folk music organizations, museums and community events across New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Equal parts historian, entertainer, educator, comedian and folklorist, he finds his song material in dusty archives, obscure songbooks, diaries, old recordings, scholarly journals and sometimes from his own children, and brings these gems to life in a most entertaining style. Whether singing in the old unaccompanied style, or backing himself with great skill on 5-string banjo, guitar, mandolin, lap dulcimer, washtub bass or jaw harp, joyful songs combine with stories and humor to captivate audiences young and old.

Dave Ruch is a member of the New York State Historical Association, New York State Council for the Social Studies, Canal Society of New York State, New York Folklore Society, Western New York Association of Historical Agencies, the Association of Teaching Artists and the New York State Reading Association. MP3 sample Montreal Reel and La Bastringue

Also, the first official review of the CD is in, from the UK.  I thought you might like to see it:  Musical Traditions Magazine review

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Category: Recordings  | 2 Comments
• Thursday, September 25th, 2008

The Horse Flies are celebrating to mark the release of their new album UNTIL THE OCEAN

“The Flies’ new album, Until the Ocean, is their first since the passing of Until the Ocean - now at Ludgate Farms!their beloved bass player of 17 years, John Hayward, in 1997. Recorded at Electric Wilburland, Pyramid Sound, and the band’s Gray House, it was mixed by Canadian, Kevin Doyle (Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, Ron Sexsmith, Alannah Myles, and many more) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling  Sound in Manhattan.

Since the death of their original bass player, John Hayward, only a few disparate recordings have crept out under the Horse Flies name – a couple of live recordings and a brace of film soundtracks – while the various members of the band have busied themselves with other projects: fiddler Judy Hyman has worked with Natalie Merchant, banjoist/singer Richie Stearns has popped up on a number of projects, and singer/banjo-mandolinist Jeff Claus’s band Boy With A Fish made its New York debut earlier this year. But now they have reinvented themselves as a studio band, with former percussionist Taki Masuko and new members Rick Hanson on accordion and keyboards and Jay Olsa on bass, for an all-round splendid return.

The format here is closer to that of the 1980s Human Fly, rather than the later Gravity Dance: Hyman’s instrumentals, Rafting (From My Front Door) and Three Shoes, feature her trademark long, swooping fiddle lines against intense and, in the case of the latter, grand backdrops, in the manner of their classic Sally Anne; the ‘trad.arr.’ numbers vary from Drunkard’s Child, emotively sung by Stearns, through a chilling rendition of Oh Death, to a real Flies rave-up on Cluck Old Hen, which is a classic mix of Fiddlin’ John Carson, Norman Edmonds and acid house – basically, what the band do better than anyone else in the world.

Of the original songs, the standouts are Claus’s Build A House And Burn It Down and A Hundred Camels, with their dry observations and weird conclusions (is there a code in Ashburn, Georgia?), and Stearns’s freakshow Carnival Lips and disturbing Baghdad Children, where the verses say ‘All god’s children have no place to hide/When the bombs come falling from the sky’ and are set against a refrain of ‘I believe in love’. With Claus’s banjo-mandolin rattling away to set an acoustic electronic rhythm in tandem with the percussion, Hyman’s drone fiddle and Stearns’s Motown-meets-Uncle Dave Macon banjo, the classic Flies sound reminds one what a joy it always was. Unique and treasurable.” fRoots Magazine - Ian Kearey (5 Stars!)

For more information about the Horse Flies:

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• Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Lizzy Picciallo’s new CD - Progressive, innovative, rockin’ songs with a jazzy edgy vocal style that Lizzy's new CD - on sale at Ludgate Farms!will make you think and move. In 2007 Lizzy’s debut album ‘Drawing Triangles’ won Ithaca, New York’s, Jimmy award for best female vocal performance and also received an honorable mention as best solo album of the year. Lizzy studied classical composition in Rhode Island before moving to Ithaca to develop her career as a professional singer/songwriter. For the past five years Lizzy, had been playing in and around Ithaca, generating a solid fan base with her unique antifolk stylings. Lizzy is currently on the road. Her second album ‘Lunatic Fringe’ is soon to be released and will feature guest musicians from all over the US.

You can also check out Lizzy’s music at

or come out to a live show!

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