Martha Scanlan – Up On The Divide
Beautiful mountain-mellowed voice and folk singer-songwriter style; not unlike early Bruce Cockburn. The song in the video strongly reminds me of Mr. Cockburn’s song, Red Brother Red Sister. Not such a bad thing at all. Please check out her website and the video below. The NPR link will take you to an interview with this fine artist.
Martha first gained national recognition for her songwriting at the prestigious Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest in 2004, where she won awards in two categories. With the Reeltime Travelers, she was featured on the soundtrack for the film Cold Mountain, produced by Grammy Award winner T-Bone Burnett. Since then she has collaborated and shared the stage with a variety of roots musicians including Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, Ollabelle, Black Prairie, Ralph Stanley and Norman and Nancy Blake.
Martha Scanlan‘s Tongue River Stories is well worth the wait, a stunning and stark portrait of one of the last truest vestiges of the west, and somehow a natural progression from The West Was Burning. Where The West Was Burning may have evoked western landscapes, Tongue River Stories takes the listener deep into the heart of the landscape itself; the meadows and cottonwood groves and decades-old cabin where the songs were written and recorded, a world so vast and quiet that such on-site recording is possible.
For singer Martha Scanlan, the inspiration for the first song she ever wrote came on a trip to eastern Montana about 10 years ago. “I had come out to this ranch for the first time to play at my friend’s wedding,” Scanlan says. “But I was so struck by the place, and I think I was just painting pictures of what I was seeing.”
Even after she left, the place pulled at her for years — until she finally decided to make it her home.
“I was writing about things I didn’t understand yet, I guess is the strange thing,” she says. “Like how much the work ties you to the land, and all the stories that the work tells. There’s one verse that says, ‘Oh Charlie, he sold out and he lost everything / A ’52 Chevy and a Navajo ring / Busted flat broken and split open wide / And the springtime’s a comin’ up on the divide.’ ” Read More here: http://www.npr.org