We Ivy Leaves have been throwing around ideas for additional blog topics and things to share on our social media outlets for a while. You know, since you might be interested in hearing about more than just what gig we’re doing next and all. One such idea has been to share the music of our friends and acquaintances in the Irish and folk music worlds. This is an especially fun and easy task because apparently, early 2012 is the time to be releasing an album. We weren’t the only Boston-area band to launch our CD in March, or even the only ones to do so on March 29th! So henceforth, this day of the week is ‘Friend Feature Friday.’ Because if you like us, you’ll probably like our friends, too.
Mariel Vandersteel: Hickory
I’m going to start off FFF with fellow Berklee alum, fiddler Mariel Vandersteel. She’s a part of many projects and has recorded several other albums, including one with her band Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, but Hickory is her first solo album. And it is seriously beautiful. It’s entirely instrumental, featuring a combination of original tunes, traditional Scandinavian and old-time tunes, and some written by the likes of Dirk Powell and Keith Murphy. The focus is on her fiddle and hardanger playing, but you’ll also hear some fantastic guitar, mandolin and harp playing. It’s hard to pick a favorite track, but I think ‘On the Danforth’ is it. I love the combination of hardanger and fingerstyle guitar - it works so well on this lovely little tune.
If you’re looking for heartwarming, down-to-earth and culturally rich music, check out The Ivy Leaf. They’re a Boston-based traditional Irish music quartet, and they’ve just dropped their first album! Not to mention friend and member Armand Aromin is an exceptional fiddler. I’ve never failed to feel cheered up after listening to their songs. Check it out!