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Cover Carnvial of Hopes(1)-1(1)

Vocalist & Songwriter Jane Kramer Makes a Full Voiced Return to Her Roots with Mountain-made Second Solo Album,
Carnival of Hopes – Due Out Feb 26, 2016

Produced and Engineered by Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios,
The album features backing band Free Planet Radio as well as guest appearances by Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and more

ASHEVILLE, NC — Vocalist and songwriter Jane Kramer is set to independently release her gutsy and ambrosial second solo album entitled Carnival of Hopes on Friday, February 26, 2016. Carnival of Hopes feels both celebratory and frank. It is filled with songs of regret and insight found after deep and gritty self-reflection. At its core, the album tells the story of facing down dark inner demons while still clinging to “that tiny chirping of light in your bones that somehow keeps you tethered to keeping on,” Kramer says.

Throughout the album, it is Kramer’s unvarnished honesty and searching, powerfully sweet and heartrending voice that carry the well-crafted and arranged songs and tie both elements of loss and healing cohesively together. “I’m not great at making stuff up,” she says, “so I sing what I lived and what I know, without any sugar or fluff.”

“Anyone who has stared down the barrel of themselves and their failures and fears and shipwrecked loves has scraped up against the bottom of their own capacity for hoping,” says Kramer, a social worker and musician by trade. “My carnival of hopes is busted and hideous and rusty and somehow still brave and sparkly,” she says, “like the image of the forgotten Ferris wheel printed on the disc – half taken over by trees and time, but still standing.”

With deep ties to the area, Carnival of Hopes, boasts a sparkling cast of Ashevillian producers and players. It was recorded at the award-winning Sound Temple Studios in Asheville in February of 2015, while she still lived on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon. A few months later, after a four-year run spent writing and reflecting on the West Coast, Jane Kramer pulled up stakes and returned to Western North Carolina with a renewed energy to share her new music with the world.

Carnival of Hopes aches and soars with her connections to Appalachian balladry, a force she first encountered at Warren Wilson College and honed while performing with the Asheville-based all-female trio, the Barrel House Mamas, who helped reintroduce Americana music to the Blue Ridge Mountains a decade ago. However, it is as a solo artist where the power of Kramer’s songwriting and world-class vocals truly shine.

Kramer’s longtime friend Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios, whose portfolio of clients includes such names as Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma, produced and engineered the album. Kramer is backed by Chris Rosser on piano and harmonium, Eliot Wadopian on upright bass and River Guerguerian on drums and percussion, the virtuoso trio that comprises Free Planet Radio, and by master Georgia-based bluegrass musicians/ multi-instrumentalists, Pace Conner (steel string, high string and baritone guitars, ukulele, mandolin, and backing vocals) and Michael Evers (Dobro, banjo, mandolin, and backing vocals) who arranged the songs for recording and perform and tour with Kramer regularly.

Carnival of Hopes as an album is full of sometimes-searing flourishes on the complexities of Kramer’s modern life. The title track clearly encompasses that, she says.

jane_kramer_photo_by_sandlin_gaither-16.jpg

Jane Kramer. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

“In the song ‘Carnival of Hopes’ and on the record as a whole, I talk about letting things die and being honest about it: the notion that I am a good woman, ideas for my future and success, a big love, and even parts of myself dying and being reborn in the letting go” she says. “I talk about laying down my hammer but leaving the light on in the window. While these are heavy concepts, I feel the take-away feeling of the album is one of hope.”

 

On this deeply personal album, Kramer’s favorite track is the ballad, “Good Woman.” While she says she’s not one who fits that description, listeners might disagree after hearing the lilting but earnest passion and regret in her voice.

“Good Woman” is the song you write when your lover kicks you out of the house and you’re half drunk on cheap box wine in a crappy motel room staring at yourself in the mirror under the fluorescent bathroom light,” Jane says. “You can’t help but be honest then.”

“Aside from the sentiment, the contributions of virtuoso players, Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and Franklin Keel of Sirius B, also help make the song a favorite,” Kramer adds. They play orchestral fiddle and cello, respectively, on “Good Woman”.

Other songs on the album offer clear hints to Kramer’s unflinching self-examination and ability to convey heavy subject matter through utterly palatable and even catchy song-crafting. The New Orleans jazz-influenced “Why’d I Do That Blues,” (which features a horn section comprised of JP Furnas on trombone and Ben Hovey on trumpet), the classic country honky tonking sass of the opening track “Half Way Gone,” and the banjo-driven, uptempo modern-day spiritual “My Dusty Wings” all speak to a talented songwriter laying herself bare. She credits her songwriting hero and mentor, Mary Gauthier, with helping her reach for, and express, everything she hoped to communicate with the album.

The songs on the album were all penned by Kramer with the exception of one cover, “Down South,” written by Tom Petty. “This tune just sounds like the mountains.” Kramer says,”I’m a huge Petty fan and love the poignant simplicity of his writing. Additionally, and probably what was most important to me was the message of the song thematically, about returning home to the south and it’s little idiosyncrasies.”

The sense of homecoming that rings through was a conscious effort, Kramer says. “I did that because Asheville is my dirt. It’s my home and my culture, musically and otherwise. I missed it and knew somewhere in my bones I would be coming back to stay soon,” she says.

“I didn’t want to make an album that didn’t sound like home,” Kramer adds. “I wanted Asheville musicians and Appalachian instrumentation – that wistful, southern dobro sound that hurts your heart a little.” Carnival of Hopes is indeed a homecoming album, and will take listeners through the enchanting and accessible emotional landscape of a woman who has climbed the mountain of her own failures and fears and learned how to be at home with herself.

Album: Carnival of Hopes Track listing:

  1. Half Way Gone  3:45
  2. Carnival of Hopes  5:25
  3. Your Ever~Green Heart  3:21
  4. Good Woman  5:29
  5. Down South (by Tom Petty) 3:30
  6. Truck Stop Stars  4:31
  7. Why’d I Do That Blues  2:38
  8. Highways, Rivers & Scars  4:25
  9. Truth Tellin’ Eyes  4:19
  10. My Dusty Wings  2:57

Learn more about Jane Kramer and her music at www.JaneKramer.net and stay up to date with news at www.facebook.com/janekramersongstress.

 

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Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of America’s musical heritage.

Celebrating the release of their new album, American Hornpipe, Dana and Susan Robinson will perform with world music trio Free Planet Radio (River Guerguerian, Eliot Wadopian, Chris Rosser) at select shows for their album release.  American Hornpipe is a melting pot of Appalachian, British, and African influences, full of earthy grooves, elegant melodies, stories of heroes, ne’er do-wells, and cautionary tales.

Catch them for one of their CD release shows in the Asheville area: 10/24 at Duckpond Pottery, 10/26 at White Horse Black Mountain, 10/27 at Madison County Arts Center

The title itself summons up the essence of this collection: “American Hornpipe”, a simple English dance tune, brought across the oceans like so many other articles of folklore, now fleshed out upon the rich tapestry of contemporary American culture.

The genius of a Dana and Susan Robinson performance lies in their ability to capture the imagination of their audience, evoking a transformative experience that touches on the deepest humanity. They can make the audience howl with laughter or hush with poignant reflection as they take them on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit.

From performing at Carnegie Hall to their music being featured in Ken Burn’s PBS documentaries Dana and Susan Robinson have been playing their trademark brand of “new-time, old-time music” for nearly twenty years.

What the Press is Saying About “American Hornpipe”

It’s grooves like these that instantly put a smile on my face!” – Martin Anderson WNCW Spindale, NC

American Hornpipe is awash in pleasures: Susan’s singing an unaccompanied ‘Fair & Tender Ladies,’ Dana’s New England-inflected fiddle and mandolin, Eliot Wadopian’s tone-perfect acoustic bass, River Guerguerian’s iron-clad grasp of how to use percussion to accentuate folk music. And the songs, not least of them Florida cowboy poet Hank Mattson’s (with Dana’s tune) ‘When This Old Hat Was New,’ not to mention the opener ‘Who Killed Cock Robin?’ with Susan’s hardboiled-detective vocal and the unsettling ghost-of-Fairport-Convention arrangement.” Rambles

The couple’s captivating version of the well-known ‘Who Killed Cock Robin’ sets the stage beautifully for the other songs to follow on the album. Among them is Dana’s original, ‘The Invitation,’ that invites listeners to ‘get unplugged and get recharged.’” The Laurel of Asheville

Rooted in time-honored old-time music, the Robinsons have branched out a bit, putting a slightly contemporary spin on many of the tunes on ‘American Hornpipe’. Some of the album is comprised of traditional old-time songs re-imagined into something fresh; music that is comfortable yet unexplored, like discovering a new trail in a forest you’ve traversed many times before. The original songs on the album feature a variety of songwriters, and throughout ‘American Hornpipe’, the world-music sounds of River Guerguerian’s Free Planet Radio join the Robinson’s string band sensibilities…This is a fun, heartfelt and unique piece of work.” — Brent Fleury, Bold Life

Love the rhythmic drive, and your fresh take on old chestnuts.” – Keith Weston WUNC Chapel Hill, NC

Acoustic Music Scene listed American Hornpipe in one of the top new albums of Sept 2012!

“mesmerising throughout” —GetReadyToRock.com

www.robinsongs.com/american-hornpipe.html

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Dana and Susan Robinson Release New Album “American Hornpipe”
Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Acoustic, Americana, Old Time Mountain Music

“It’s grooves like these that instantly put a smile on my face!” –Martin Anderson WNCW Spindale, NC

“Love the rhythmic drive, and your fresh take on old chestnuts.” –Keith Weston WUNC Chapel Hill, NC

www.robinsongs.com

­­­(Asheville, NC)– Announcing the release of Dana and Susan Robinson’s new CD, American Hornpipe.  American Hornpipe is Dana and Susan’s fourth album since their 2004 debut Native Soil and exemplifies their trademark brand of “new-time, old-time music.” American Hornpipe is a melting pot of Appalachian, British, and African influences, full of earthy grooves, elegant melodies, stories of heroes, ne’er do-wells, and cautionary tales. Dana and Susan back up their songwriting and string band sound on American Hornpipe with the edge, groove, and sophistication of Asheville, North Carolina’s world music super-group, Free Planet Radio (River Guerguerian – percussion, Eliot Wadopian – bass, Chris Rosser – harmonium, recording, and mixing).

Dana and Susan’s chilling and arresting take on the traditional song “Who Killed Cock Robin” is an audacious start to the album. This is followed by Dana’s original, “The Invitation,” which invites the listener to “get unplugged and get recharged.” Their cover of Lui Collins’s “Farmer’s Market A-Z” is a joyful celebration of local food, and in “When This Old Hat Was New,” Dana collaborates with Floridian poet, Hank Mattson, to tell the true tale of Jake Summerlin, King of the Cracker Cowboys. Returning to the traditional, Dana and Sue let it rip with the oldtime tune “Roscoe,” and restore the blues to “Raleigh and Spencer.” Throughout this album weaves a thread of close harmonies, brilliant songwriting, and the intimate instrumentals that Dana and Susan Robinson are so well known for.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Dana relocated to New England where he discovered both a thriving songwriters scene and the deep well of traditional mountain music. In the early 1980s, Dana settled in northern Vermont and built a house “off the grid” on 30 acres. In 1994 he launched into full-time touring and recorded four CDs before meeting up with Sue. Sue grew up in New England where she studied piano and Scottish fiddle. Dana and Sue met at a house concert in California in 2002, where Sue was living at the time. Upon moving to North Carolina, Sue launched into studying with many of the great old-time musicians in the Asheville area. Dana and Sue maintain a busy concert schedule performing throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.

Dana and Susan will be performing select shows surrounding the release:

Dana and Susan Duo Show @ Purple Onion on Thurs, October 18, 2012
7pm, by donation, all ages, (828) 749-1179
16 E Main St. Saluda, NC 28773
www.purpleonionsaluda.com

NEW DATE: Dana and Susan Duo Show @ Duck Pond Pottery on Thu, October 25, 2012
7.30pm, $10, all ages, 828.883.4536
1840 Greenville Hwy. Brevard, NC 28712
www.facebook.com/TheDuckpondPottery

Dana & Susan Robinson with Free Planet Radio
Fri, October 26, 2012 @ White Horse Black Mountain
Free Planet Radio will also be performing their original music in this co-bill
7pm, $15 all ages, (828) 669-0816
105C Montreat Rd. Black Mountain, NC 28711
www.whitehorseblackmountain.com

Dana and Susan Robinson with Free Planet Radio
Sat, October 27, 2012 @ Madison County Arts Center
Free Planet Radio will also be performing their original music in this co-bill
7pm, $15 all ages, 828-649-1301
90 South Main St. Marshall, NC 28753
www.madisoncountyarts.com

www.robinsongs.com

You can also find Dana and Susan on
FaceBook, ReverbNation and YouTube

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