What a beautiful, beautiful harmony sound they have... -- Larry Groce | NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show
...They sang harmonies that made my own heart sing. Close, perfect, high and sweet--intricate parts worked out that seemed as natural as breathing. We were swept away. -- Susanna Robinson Kenga | LBSpy, Lewisburg, WV
The Early Mays are a bit of a supergroup... Together, they literally make beautiful music--a play on the Appalachian folk all three are steeped in, with close vocal harmonies and guitar, banjo and fiddle work -- Andy Mulkerin | Pittsburgh City Paper
The Early Mays are three talented writers, singers, and instrumentalists, coming together on a masterpiece of a debut album. it is clear that the folk trio carefully crafted each other's songs by adding emotionally stirring harmonies and delicate folk imstrumentation (banjo, fiddle and organ). While playing together for the first time at a late-night Christmas Eve service, they realized the full potential of future collaborations, thus forming The Early mays. Using crowd funding to source their self-titled debut, the group brings traditional and original material to spectacular life. This is more than a band that writes and performs songs; it's a group of serious musicologists who have studied the folk genre all their lives. It's a rare combination of knowledge and talent. -- Cindy Howes | Folk Alley & WYEP, Pittsburgh, PA
- NPR Mountain Stage, Featured Performer | October 2017
- #1 Artist and album on National Folk-DJ Charts | August 2017
- Winner of Neo-Traditional Band Competition | Appalachian String Band Music Festival (Clifftop, WV) | August 2016
- Official Showcases at NERFA and SERFA
- Folk Roots Radio, Best Albums of 2015
- WYEP Artist of the Year 2014
- #2 Debut on National Folk-DJ Charts | October 2014
- 3 months in Top Ten Rotation on National Folk-DJ Charts | 2014
- Folk Alley Listener Poll, Top 50 Albums of 2014
- Top Ten Albums of 2014, Cindy Howes at Folk Alley
- #6 Song on Roots Music Report in Pennsylvania | November 2014
The Early Mays "...bring traditional and original material to spectacular life" (Cindy Howes, Folk Alley, WYEP) with Appalachian-inspired songs built on deep country sensibilities, masterful singing and a sweet old-time sound. They burst on to the folk scene in 2014 with a #2 debut on the National Folk-DJ Charts: an eponymous album where fiddle, banjo and guitar are the backdrop to heart-melting three part vocals. Most recently, they took home the blue ribbon in the Neo-Traditional Band Competition at Clifftop 2016 (The Appalachian String Band Music Festival), appeared on NPR's Mountain Stage in 2017, and hit the #1 position on the folk charts with their latest release, "Chase the Sun."
Emily Pinkerton, Ellen Gozion, and newest member, Rachel Eddy, share songs based in a love of American tradition, while also exploring their own creative voices. All three are celebrated solo artists who bring their rich, and carefully honed craft to The Early mays. Emily weaves folk, classical and world music traditions together in her songwriting. She recently won a New Music USA award for the commission of a piece for old time banjo and chamber ensemble, released in November 2017 on New Amsterdam Records. Ellen is an accomplished ballad singer and visual artist who has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center, and was an American Music Abroad finalist with the US State Department. Rachel is a prolific old-time fiddler and multi-instrumentalist, with a long touring history, who has shared the stage with Tim O'Brien, Uncle Early, Bruce Molsky and others.
In The Early Mays, you won’t find a lead singer. You’ll find a trio that enjoys lifting up each member’s work, putting the best of themselves into every song. You won’t find harmonies that fall into a clear category—like old-time or bluegrass—but you’ll find yourself transported as you listen. Whether contra dancing in Pittsburgh, flatfooting in Chicago, or fiddling in West Virginia—each of The Early Mays has their own love story with old-time music, but together, they’ve found an even sweeter tale to tell.
Somebody recommended them to me and all it took was listening to one or two of the songs that I heard online before I even got their CD and I thought, 'These people are such great singers.' I wasn't even familiar with what great songwriters they were too. They sing some traditional things, they sing some covers and they write some beautiful songs and, as you'll hear, they're fantastic musicians. -- Larry Groce | NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show
With their Appalachian-inspired tunes, amazing three-part harmonies, flatfooting demo, and unique crankies of mosaic folk art, The Early Mays wowed the packed house (only our second sell-out!). Even I got up and did my own clogging! Audience members loved chatting with Ellen, Emily and Rachel about their songs, instruments and crankies during intermission and after to show. Have them back in a heartbeat. -- Jeff King | Deer Creek Coffeehouse, Darlington, MD
Ethereal beauty with old-time and edge... -- Lee Stivers | Whiskey Rebellion Festival, Washington, PA
NPR's Mountain Stage, Elkins, WV | Appalachian String Band Music Festival, Clifftop, WV | APAP Showcase, New York, NY | Jalopy Theatre, New York, NY | NERFA Official Showcase, Stamford, CT | HOTA (Heart of the Arts) Fest, Titusville, PA | Concerts in the Loft, Morgantown, WV | Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance Concert Series, Charleston, WV | Mountain City Traditional Arts Center, Frostburg, MD | Northern Appalachian Folk Festival, Indiana, PA | Fiddle and Bow Society, Winston-Salem, NC | Deer Creek Coffeehouse Concert Series, Darlington MD | Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering, Huntingdon Township, PA | St. Francis University, Loretto, PA | Four Hour Day Lutherie, Baltimore, MD | The Bop Stop, Cleveland, OH | Whiskey Rebellion Folk Festival, Washington, PA | Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA | Chatham University Bluegrass Festival, Pine Township, PA | Unitarian Universalist Metro Area North, Atlanta, GA | First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo, MI | Calliope Concert Series, Pittsburgh, PA |