Evie Ladin – Float Downstream

Float Downstream

There is a Northeastern Folk sound in these recordings that is unmistakable.  I also sense an Appalachia heritage and heartbeat that digs beneath the surface of American music.  The melding of these two traditions reveals a soothing and home-spun vibe that recalls family and friends around the hearth revealing tragic and proud family tales while occasionally spinning yarns from whole cloth. 

A worthy listen and beautiful discovery for this homesteaders ears. 


1 I Love My Honey 2.49 –  2 Romeo 3.50 –  3 Float Downstream 2.54 – 4 How Did You Know 3.16 – 5  Dance Me 3.00  – 6 Maybe An Angel 3.14  – 7 Mistreated Mama/Yew Piney Mountain 3.40  – 8 One Of These Days 2.20  – 9 Precious Days 3.45  – 10 Going Across The Sea 2.22  – 11 Home From Airy 2.16 12  – Mardi Gras 3.20  –  13 Floating Downstream 1.08

Evie Ladin grew up in a trad folk scene up and down the eastern seaboard of the US. With her sister she learned to dance, play the banjo and sing southern harmonies, and she’s been performing ever since—stringband music, step dancing, square dance calling and songwriting, world music collaborations, body percussion and contemporary work. Her first collection of songs are ripe, catchy stories—could be anybody’s stories, but Evie’s telling makes them deeply personal, makes them float. For Natalie Ladin (1941-2008), who taught me how to persevere. Deep love to my family and friends, without whom I could not.

“I have a very strong old-timey aesthetic, I know what good stringband music sounds like, but I also listen to a lot of world music, old and new country, indie rock, soul – music scenes that often don’t overlap that much. I like a lot of interesting new treatments of Americana and traditional music; well-played, well-phrased music is just good.  In making the album, the music that was old-time had to be real old-time, but I also needed to let songs stretch toward a pop aesthetic, a more contemporary aesthetic. The mix of the two can be very exciting.”

The songs themselves can be energetic, poignant, or downright sad like the title track. “I had been away from the Eastern woods for a long time,” Evie recalled. “I was teaching at a camp in Tennessee and went walking in the trees. There was something so familiar about the way the sunlight came through the leaves, spilling on the forest floor, that made me feel like I was floating.  It was so beautiful it was heartbreaking. The first verse of the song fell into me on that walk, and then it took me a year to figure out the rest of what happened in the story.” Evie is playing a fairly traditional clawhammer banjo style here, with Mark Summer’s cello swimming underneath and contemporary lyrics floating along the surface.


~ by castleqwayr on February 4, 2010.

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