Saturday, May 2, 2015
First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View, 1667 Miramonte Ave. (at Cuesta Dr.), Mountain View
** THE FINAL RBA SHOW AT THE MOUNTAIN VIEW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH **
In a relatively short period of time, Della Mae has become a sensation in the acoustic music world. They’ve released only two albums (the second on Rounder), yet won the 2013 IBMA Emerging Artist Of the Year Award and were nominated for a Grammy. With a sensitive yet assertive approach that's steeped in tradition yet firmly rooted in the present, the versatile instrumentalist/vocalists draw from a bottomless well of rootsy influences to create vibrantly original music that conveys the band's expansive musical vision with timeless lyrical truths and an unmistakably contemporary sensibility.
Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare, the Boston (and Nashville)-based combo mines time-honored elements to create music that's unmistakably fresh and contemporary. These five multitalented young women are respectful of American musical tradition, but not restricted by it, combining centuries' worth of musical influences with an emotionally tough, undeniably modern songwriting sensibility.
Della Mae is …
lead vocals, guitar
Jenni Lyn Gardner:
lead guitar, vocals
Q. If everyone in Della Mae is from a different state how did you all get together?
A: Kimber Ludiker (fiddle) had the idea of starting this band in Boston, MA. It started out as a joke under the name Big Spike Hammer. The idea was to dress in power suits and play “Mangrass” … whatever that means! After a few fun shows, Kimber decided the band had potential. The name changed to a more feminine Della Mae, and she began to assemble women from all over the country. Della Mae now has a release on Rounder Records and tours worldwide.
Q: Why Boston of all places?
A: There is an incredible community of musicians in Boston, not to mention several fine schools. The Boston scene is supportive, and burgeoning with inspirational songwriting and musicianship. While two band members still live and work out of Boston, the others have relocated to Nashville.
Q. Where does the name "Della Mae" come from?
A: The Osborne Brothers song Big Spike Hammer: "Hey hey Della Mae, why do you treat me this way?"
Q. Why no banjo?
A: We do have a banjo!
"Bluegrass is edging towards both the experimental and the mainstream. Following the adventurous work of the Punch Brothers, here's an impressive and highly commercial blend of contemporary and traditional influences from the all-female quintet Della Mae. The ladies succeed because they are all fine instrumentalists, and have the ability to match upbeat bluegrass with country balladry and a dash of pop. So a reworked traditional song is matched against a new and slinky number, a sad-edged country waltz, and the charming closing track, featuring exquisite harmony vocals and a vintage 1933 guitar that was once played by June Carter.” (The Guardian)
“As soon as lead vocalist Celia Woodsmith launches in, it’s clear too that we’re in the presence of one hell of a singer. Her approach is relaxed, confident; Woodsmith is content to impress instead of dazzle … There are more standouts here than you can shake a stick at. What’s most impressive, though, is not that Della Mae has succeeded, but that the band has done it and made it seem so easy. There are no signs of the self-consciousness and strain that mar so many roots-based releases. Instead, this is the rarest kind of success: the past grounds it, sure, but so too does the present, and the result illuminates both.” (PopMatters)