We’re well overdue for a FHE update so without further ado...
We were thrilled to hear that Leif Vollebekk was nominated for the Polaris 2017 Long List and, as of July 13, he’s made the Short List among artists including Leonard Cohen and Feist! NPR’s World Cafe also named Twin Solitude one of the best albums of 2017 so far.
Aside from the Polaris nom, Leif has had a spring and summer packed with exciting press and tour opportunities. Twin Solitude, was met with praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste, The Village Voice, The Fader, Exclaim (8/10 stars), CBC Music, Le Droit (4/5 stars), and Le Journal de Montreal (4/5 stars), among others. He’s been interviewed by outlets including: CBC Q, NPR's World Cafe and Mountain Stage, Paste, Sirius XM, The Strombo Show, Acoustic Cafe, CBS Music Minute, France Inter ‘Le Nouveau Rendez-Vous, Radio 2 (Netherlands) and 3FM (Netherlands).
This spring, Leif toured with Gregory Alan Isakov in Europe and followed that with a headlining North American tour that had sold-out shows in New York City, Boston, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto. To top it off, Leif will embark on a headlining European tour this fall!
Also on the awards front, we were stoked that in April, Mandolin Orange's most recent album, Blindfaller, was nominated by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) for both “Album of the Year” and “Country/Americana/Folk Album of the Year” alongside artists including Radiohead, Bon Iver, Angel Olsen and Gillian Welch (PS - It’s been a while since I’ve written a news update and think it’s worth mentioning that Blindfaller also made Rolling Stone’s “40 Best Country Albums of 2016”)!
Aside from the A2IM love, MO has had a busy spring and summer where they wrapped up another EU tour AND another US tour (with a number of sold-out shows). They’ve been hitting the festival circuit hard this summer performing at major events including: Red Rocks, Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Newport Folk, Pickathon, and a sold-out headlining show to nearly 3,000 at the NC Museum of Art! Their performance at Bonnaroo was even considered one of the “6 Best Country and Americana Moments at Bonnaroo 2017!”
Earlier in the year, Michaela Anne released a live video for her song “Easier than Leaving” from her 2016 album Bright Lights and the Fame. The video, filmed under a willow tree that was soon to be bulldozed at her former house in Nashville, received praise and coverage from Rolling Stone. Since the video premier, Michaela has released an acoustic, live version of the song (available via the outlet of your choosing)!
Michaela just wrapped up the first leg of her first tour of Europe and the UK. She supported Sam Outlaw who she toured with for over 2 months across the US this spring. Her international tour with Outlaw will continue throughout the fall with dates all across Europe in August, October and November.
The Birds of Chicago have been nonstop on the road this spring and summer hitting up all parts of the US, including their first big string of shows in the SE! They’ve had the opportunity to perform at some amazing venues and festivals along the way including: Thalia Hall, Teragram Ballroom, Rhythm ‘N Blooms Festival, the Woody Guthrie Center, and NPR’s Mountain Stage.
Alli and JT have also wrapped up some time at Chicago's storied Electrical Audio studio, where they finished their third album. Love in Wartime is co-produced by North Mississippi Allstars’ frontman Luther Dickinson and we are hard at work sorting a release plan for the first half of 2018.
Here is a working version of "Lodestar," a song from the upcoming album, that the band taped at Fayetteville Roots Fest last year.
Since their pop-up tour promoting the release of their fourth full-length album, FM, the guys of Farewell Milwaukee have been active this spring and summer performing around the Midwest. They returned to both the Mid West Music Festival and the Riversong Music Festival while also performing some unique events, including a concert at the Fitzgerald Theater in Minneapolis alongside a showing of Westside Story. Although they are staying close to home, you'll be hearing some of their songs this fall on your TV and/or Netflix, as we've locked in a few placements for the guys.
Hope your summer has been cool and filled with good times. Thanks for reading and supporting these Five Head artists. If you've made it this far, I'm going to take self indulgence to the next level and share a picture of my first whole hog BBQ. BBQ is a hobby when I'm not caught up in the music business minutiae and doing a whole pig was a milestone.
Jimmy & the FHE team