Lonesome Ace Stringband’s latest single “Praying For Rain” came to its writer in a matter of minutes. Max Malone—bassist and one-third of the Toronto-based, acoustic power trio—and his wife had packed up everything they owned into a trailer and hauled it from Toronto to a tiny town called Horsefly in British Columbia to begin building their dream homestead. Over the eighteen months from the fall of 2019 to the spring of 2021, particularly the summer that fell right in the middle of their beginning and end dates, the pair labored through record-breaking temperatures and wildfire smoke-filled skies. After the Lytton fire ravaged the town a few hours south of them, “Praying For Rain” poured right out of Malone and onto the page.
Malone’s Lonesome Ace bandmates—John Showman on fiddle and Chris Coole on banjo—jumped right into arranging the new tune. Clawhammer banjo and moody fiddle set the scene for an Americana take on a modern concern for the planet, its inhabitants, and their surroundings. “It’s been hotter than the old folks remember and it’s got us all praying for rain / Praying and complaining while the wildfire’s gaining / Oh no, here we go again,” the group sings in tight harmony, painting an unmistakable picture of what millions across the world are feeling increasingly every year.
On Wednesday, Glide Magazine premiered “Praying For Rain,” writing that the song, “...balances the kind of unconventional approach of acts like Split Lip Rayfield with a more old timey country sound that brings to mind acts like Trampled by Turtles.” “Praying For Rain” is the latest single from Lonesome Ace Stringband’s brand new album Try To Make It Fly—due out on October 13th. The material on this new release marks not only a reinvigorated, live-on-stage sound but also a venture into more Americana-leaning songwriting on—for the first time in the band’s career—an album full of original songs. “It felt like a place where we could be ourselves as writers and craft music that would fit the genre regardless of what we found ourselves writing about lyrically,” says Showman. Add that to the trio’s already dynamic concoction of fiddle, banjo, and bass, and the results reveal a bright future for the ever-evolving Lonesome Ace Stringband.
Fans can hear “Praying For Rain” now at this link, check out the band’s previously-released singles “Sweeter Sound” and “Smoke On The Shoulder” at their respective links, and pre-order or pre-save Try To Make It Fly ahead of its October release right here. A full list of Lonesome Ace Stringband tour dates can be found below or at lonesomeace.com/shows.
Try To Make It Fly Tracklist:
Praying For Rain
You’ll Be There
First Frost/Blue Grouse
Come With Me Tonight
Simply Going Sideways
Crossing The Junction/Deer River
Smoke On The Shoulder
Lonesome Ace Number 1
Catch Lonesome Ace Stringband On Tour:
Aug. 26 - Sorrento, BC - Nimble Fingers Bluegrass & Old Time Workshop and Festival
Sept. 2 - Pilesgrove, NJ - Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival
Sept. 15-16 - Flagstaff, AZ - Pickin' In The Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival
Sept. 19 - Nashville, TN - AMERICANAFEST
Oct. 18 - Cambridge, MA - Club Passim
Oct. 19 - Exeter, NH - The Wood Barn
Oct. 20 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Caffe Lena
Oct. 21 - Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center
Oct. 22 - Greenfield, MA - Hawks & Reed
Oct. 23 - New York, NY - City Vineyard at Pier 26
Oct. 25 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java
Oct. 26 - Oberlin, OH - Music at Riverdog
Oct. 28 - Manitowoc, WI - Sabbatical Brewing Co.
Oct. 29 - Holland, MI - Park Theatre
Oct. 30 - Ann Arbour, MI - The Ark
Nov. 1 - Toronto, ON - The Tranzac Club
Nov. 22 - Edmonton, AB - Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society
Nov. 23 - Saskatoon, SK - The Bassment
Nov. 24 - Red Deer, AB - The Velvet Olive
Nov. 25 - Calgary, AB - Foothills Bluegrass Circle Music Society
Nov. 27 - Missoula, MT - Longstaff House
Nov. 29 - Sisters, OR - The Belfry
Dec. 1 - Portland, OR - McMenamins White Eagle Saloon & Hotel
Dec. 2 - Seattle, WA - Ballard Homestead
Dec. 3 - Victoria, BC - Victoria Event Centre
Dec. 4 - Vancouver, BC - The Anza Club
Dec. 5 - Oliver, BC - The Oliver Theatre
More About Lonesome Ace Stringband:
Masters of their trade, The Lonesome Ace Stringband bring grit, skill and abandon to Americana music, bridging old-time, bluegrass and folk traditions into a seamless hybrid of original material that is at once fresh and timeless. Instrumentation alone sets this Toronto-based trio’s sound apart: consisting simply of fiddle (John Showman), clawhammer banjo (Chris Coole), and upright bass (Max Malone). The spine-tingling harmonies and interchanging lead vocals only bring more magic to the equation. They’ve become festival favorites at Rockygrass, Celtic Connections, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Merlefest, and regularly tour the USA, UK, Germany, and, of course, Canada.
With more than a decade of group music-making under their belts, they’re releasing their fifth album, a feisty and mighty collection of all-original material titled Try To Make It Fly on October 13, 2023. Call Lonesome Ace Stringband whatever genre you want - they are just unorthodox enough to be brilliant.