Nora Brown—the Brooklyn, NY soon-to-be-eighteen-year-old banjoist/vocalist who has appeared at Newport Folk Festival, The Kennedy Center, Trans-Pecos Festival, globalFEST, and more—has teamed up with award-winning fiddle player and fellow Brooklynite Stephanie Coleman for a new EP Lady of the Lake, out July 28 on Jalopy Records. It’ll be released just three days before the duo tapes an NPR Tiny Desk Concert,
The chemistry and richness of Brown and Coleman’s musical partnership belies their twenty-year age difference and reflects the six years the duo has performed live together. The EP comes amidst more activity this year, two sold-out shows in London; festivals set for Canada, England, and Denmark; a spring Japanese tour; a recent appearance on WNYC’s tastemaker Soundcheck show; and the duo’s forthcoming west coast debut with concerts in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.
Coleman learned the instrumental title track from a performance by Eric Merrill at the fiddle competition in West Virginia’s Appalachian String Band Music Festival, aka “Clifftop.” The song originated with Galax, VA fiddler Parley Parsons via the great fiddle and banjo player Paul Brown. It was released today as the first single from the EP.
Brown performed “Copper Kettle” at the Lincoln Center event Voices of a People’s History of the United States: Celebrating the Centenary of Howard Zinn alongside Claire Danes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and others. Here, Nora plays archtop acoustic guitar and Stephanie’s plaintive fiddle sets the scene.
Over the past two decades, fellow Brooklynite Stephanie has established herself as a highly respected and sought-after practitioner of traditional Appalachian and Midwestern style old-time fiddle. She holds the record for most ribbons won in the renowned fiddle contest at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, WV—where she first heard and learned the title track of the EP. Stephanie has recorded and toured internationally with artists such as trailblazing all-women stringband Uncle Earl, Watchhouse’s Andrew Marlin, GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and clawhammer banjo virtuoso Adam Hurt.
The EP was produced, recorded, and mixed by the legendary Peter K. Siegel, who recorded Neil Young, Joseph Spence, and Doc Watson; recorded concerts that were later released by Mississippi John Hurt, Roscoe Holcomb, and Dock Boggs; taped an iconic Bob Dylan bootleg in the basement of Gerde’s Folk City; and has made vital field recordings on musicians from Indonesia, India, China, and Sweden.
Of the duo, Siegel said, “I was a big fan of both Nora and Steph when they were performing separately. Their new collaboration is more than the sum of its parts. They make their virtuosity so much fun to listen to. Their music is deeply rooted in American tradition, but the excitement of their performances is all theirs.”
Other upcoming releases on Jalopy Records include Cuatro Vidas by acclaimed New Mexican string band Lone Piñon and Secret Museum of Mankind: Atlas of Instruments – Fiddles, vol. 1 (various artists).
Nora Brown and Stephanie Coleman Tour Dates
June 30 - Green Note - London, England (sold out)
July 2 - The Harrison - London, England (sold out)
July 3-7 - Fiddle Tunes - Port Townsend, WA
July 7-9 - Winnipeg Folk Festival, Canada
July 11 - Alberta Abbey – Portland, OR
July 12 - Ballard Homestead – Seattle, WA
July 13 - Boundary Bay Series Bellingham, WA
July 14-16 - Vancouver Island Music Festival, Canada
July 20 - Stone Church – Brattleboro, VT (Nora solo)
July 21 - Portsmouth Music Hall Lounge - Portsmouth, NH (Nora solo)
July 22 - House Concert - Portland, ME (Nora solo)
July 23 - Crabtree Sessions - North Haven Island, ME (Nora solo)
Aug 11-13 - Edmonton Folk Music Festival - Alberta, Canada
Nov 11 - Brooklyn Folk Fest - Brooklyn, NY