- Evansville, IN
Rachel Baiman’s 2017 label debut Shame was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and described by Vice’s “Noisey” as “flipping off authority one song at a time.” Now Baiman has announced Thanksgiving—out November 2 on Free Dirt Records—a self-produced four-song EP, featuring her live trio and special guests including Molly Tuttle and Josh Oliver.
Thanksgiving is a collection of music to inspire an introspective holiday spirit. The songs center around themes of Indigenous Rights, home and homelessness, and love in hard times. “Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays,” says Baiman. “But two years ago in November, the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline was in full swing, and it just got me thinking about how the relationship between indigenous and white people in this country has hardly changed at all over the years. The irony of Thanksgiving being celebrated right as people were being arrested and sprayed with water guns for protecting their right to clean water really hit me”.
The EP opens with the jovial sounding “Tent City” which features a hard-driving bluegrass band. Yet, the slaphappy sound becomes erie as the lyrics sink in; the song is from the perspective of a man who has fallen from his picturesque middle class lifestyle into homelessness and addiction. Yet the matter-of-fact delivery humanizes his story and gives context to a character who might otherwise be treated as a statistic.
The collection is not all doom and gloom, however, as the first two sobering tracks are followed by the cheerful John Hartford number “Madison Tennessee.” “I’m getting married this year,” says Baiman, “My fiancé and I recently moved out to Madison and have been fixing up a little cabin on the river. I spend so much time traveling, it’s an amazing feeling to finally put down some roots and work on creating a magical and inspiring space. This Hartford tune makes me feel giddy about home, and for me that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.” “Madison Tennessee” features bluegrass guitar virtuoso and Americana Music Association “Instrumentalist of the Year” Molly Tuttle, who toured in a duo with Baiman in 2018.
“Times Like These,” the EP’s final track, features guitarist and singer Josh Oliver, another of Baiman’s frequent musical collaborators. Ending on an uplifting note, the song is a testament to the good that gets us through the bad. “Open the window / And let in the breeze / Darling I need you / Living in times like these,” sing Baiman and Oliver in emotive harmony. Oliver’s beautifully tragic voice hits the listener like teardrops on a page.
Baiman’s Thanksgiving is an intriguing follow up to Shame, allowing her a chance to stretch out stylistically, moving effortlessly between bluegrass, folk, old-time and country. The bittersweet lyricism she’s become known for conveys the ups and downs we often feel around the holidays, and is a reminder to raise our glass to both the joy and the hardships many experience during this season.
Rachel Baiman Plays Evansville, IN in Support of Stunning Americana Record "Shame" Feb 3
Americana Songwriter & Multi-Instrumentalist Rachel Baiman Tours Stunning New Record "Shame"
"A rootsy wake-up call" — Folk Alley
Following a run of dates in Australia, Rachel will be making a stop in Evansville, IN to share music from her brand new album Shame (Free Dirt Records) at Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana on Feb 3.
In many ways for Rachel, Shame, is an exploration of growing up female in America. Despite the serious subject matter, the overall tenor of the album remains light while the arrangements depart from her stripped-down work with progressive folk duo 10 String Symphony. Shame is lush and varied aided by the production and recording talents of Mandolin Orange's Andrew Marlin. Musically inspired in equal parts by John Hartford and Courtney Barnett, Baiman's influences are myriad, however years spent playing traditional music shine through in the album’s firmly rooted sound. Over the album's ten tracks, Baiman commands attention with songwriting prowess and a depth of presence well beyond her 27 years.
Shame's musical intensity is rooted within the current American political climate. “I wasn't necessarily trying to write songs that would be easy to listen to," Baiman says of the project. “I wanted to write about reality, in all of it's terror and beauty.” From the title track about abortion politics, to love, sex, and abuse in relationships, to classism and inequality in her re-write of Andy Irvine's working class anthem “Never Tire of the Road," the album is ambitious in its scope, yet remains cohesive through Baiman's personal perspective. In addition to the release of her new solo album, Baiman is the co-founder of a new political group called Folk Fights Back, a musician-led national organization that puts together benefit concerts and awareness events in response to the Trump administration.
As a teenager, Baiman found music to be a welcome escape from worrying about global politics. “I often found the constant discussion of seemingly unsolvable problems to be intense and overwhelming, and when I moved to Nashville to pursue music it felt like something positive, beautiful and productive that I could put into the world. Now that I've had some years to devote to music,”—Baiman has been recording and touring internationally for the past 4 years with 10 String Symphony, and has played fiddle for numerous other artists including Kacey Musgraves and Winnipeg folk band Oh My Darling—“I find it hard to escape from the values that I grew up with, and I feel compelled to write politically, to speak out about things that I've experienced or seen. Songwriting is a unique opportunity to do that, because it avails a more emotional vehicle for discussion. I love the political tradition of folk music, from Woody Guthrie to Tupac, and my hope is that this record adds another voice to it.”
More dates to be announced soon.
|Ticket URL:||Click here|
|Venue City, State:||Evansville, IN|
|Venue St. Address:||318 Main Street|
|Venue:||The Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana|
|Concert Start Time:||7pm|