12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The musical balancing act achieved by the all-female quintet Della Mae on its second album (and first for Rounder Records) is a quintessential example of 21st-century newgrass. Courtney Hartman’s acoustic guitar, Kimber Ludiker’s fiddle, and Jenni Lyn Gardner’s mandolin fire off enough fierce licks throughout This World Oft Can Be to satisfy the most demanding hardcore bluegrass addict. The album opener, “Letter from Down the Road/And Other Things” shows the band’s ease with an old-school back-porch feel. But much of the record moves beyond the confines of trad bluegrass; the structure and feel of moody, atmospheric tunes like “Paper Prince” and “Heaven’s Gate” have more to do with modern alt-folk singer/songwriter sounds. Singer Celia Woodsmith sounds comfortable on either end of Della Mae’s stylistic spectrum, and by the time things end with the almost hymn-like “Some Roads Lead On,” it’s clear that the band’s vision of modern roots music really requires no labels.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The musical balancing act achieved by the all-female quintet Della Mae on its second album (and first for Rounder Records) is a quintessential example of 21st-century newgrass. Courtney Hartman’s acoustic guitar, Kimber Ludiker’s fiddle, and Jenni Lyn Gardner’s mandolin fire off enough fierce licks throughout This World Oft Can Be to satisfy the most demanding hardcore bluegrass addict. The album opener, “Letter from Down the Road/And Other Things” shows the band’s ease with an old-school back-porch feel. But much of the record moves beyond the confines of trad bluegrass; the structure and feel of moody, atmospheric tunes like “Paper Prince” and “Heaven’s Gate” have more to do with modern alt-folk singer/songwriter sounds. Singer Celia Woodsmith sounds comfortable on either end of Della Mae’s stylistic spectrum, and by the time things end with the almost hymn-like “Some Roads Lead On,” it’s clear that the band’s vision of modern roots music really requires no labels.

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About Della Mae

Della Mae was formed in 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts and was one of the first modern all-female bluegrass bands. Their combination of traditional bluegrass music and singer/songwriter influences saw the group traveling throughout the world, playing festivals, churches, and clubs from Massachusetts to Pakistan. These seasoned players -- Kimber Ludiker on fiddle, Celia Woodsmith on vocals and guitar, Shelby Means on bass, Jenni Lyn on guitar, and Courtney Hartman on guitar, vocals, and banjo -- were accomplished musicians prior to forming the band. Individually, they have played not only bluegrass, but folk, rock, and country, and have backed up Willie Nelson, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, Del McCoury Band, and numerous others. In 2010, Della Mae issued their debut full-length and a seven-song EP, Acoustic, followed in 2011 by the independently issued I Built This Heart.

The quintet toured hard, playing folk and bluegrass festivals across the United States while opening for first-tier artists. Their second full-length, This World Oft Can Be, was their debut for Rounder and broke the group to a wider audience. They appeared on Acoustic Sessions and the YouTube videos for "Maybelline" and "Empire." After more relentless touring, Della Mae settled into Nashville's venerable Sound Emporium with iconoclastic producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Buddy Guy) to cut their sophomore effort for Rounder. The self-titled record was released in the spring of 2015. ~ Al Campbell

ORIGIN
Boston, MA
GENRE
Country
FORMED
2009

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