Posts Tagged ‘Bonny Light Horseman’

I first heard this song when I was in my early 20’s, on a mix cassette that my then girlfriend’s cool older brother made me. I was instantly entranced – there was something so evocative about the arrangement, the transcendental and romantic lyrical imagery, and Buckley’s deeply soulful voice. I knew one of these days I’d cover it. Took me twenty-plus years to find the right situation to do it. Josh and Anaïs Mitchell (and the stellar assemblage of players on this recording) took this song in a new direction that made me fall in love with it all over again. Long live buzzin’ flies, ringing mountains, flowing rivers, and seabirds who knew your name! — Eric D. Johnson

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Released August 25th, 2020

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What seemed at first like a fun side project has turned into one of the year’s most replayable albums. Bonny Light Horseman — the new supergroup of Anais Mitchell, Eric D Johnson (Fruit Bats), and The National/Craig Finn/Hiss Golden Messenger/Josh Ritter collaborator (and now member of Paul Banks’ new band Muzz) Josh Kaufman — is steeped in centuries-old tradition, but they sound like a breath of fresh air. Their debut album is a mix of traditional folk songs (including the one they’re named after) and originals, and Bonny Light Horseman often drastically rework the traditionals and make them entirely their own. It’s an album that could appeal to fans of classic folk rock like Fairport Convention as much as to more recent indie folk acts like Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver (whose Justin Vernon appears on the album and released it on 37d03d, the label he runs with The National’s Aaron Dessner, who also played on the album), and it’s one of the most refreshing albums in this style to be released in recent memory.

Bonny Light Horseman — the indie folk super-trio featuring Anais Mitchell, Eric D Johnson (Fruit Bats), and Josh Kaufman — released one of the year’s best albums so far, followed by a great non-album single “Green Rocky Road,” and here’s another great song, which is the b-side to “Green Rocky Road.”

From the single Green/Green, out 7th Aug 2020 via 37d03d Records.

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Trad-folk rabble rousers from a bevvy of renowned musicians with a keen understanding on the heritage of the genre and an enviable imagination for how to take it bounding into the future.

The astral folk outfit—comprised of Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman— mixes the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush. the resulting album, bonny light horseman, is an elusive kind of sonic event: a bottled blend of lightning and synergy that will excite fans of multiple genres, eras, and ages. This is colourful, textured work: a lush and loving ode to the past with one eye fixed on the present. “There’s a palpable through line: a sense that the spirit of these ancient songs can be secured in the face of radical transformation”

What seemed at first like a fun side project has turned into one of the year’s most re-playable albums. Bonny Light Horseman are a new supergroup of Anais Mitchell, Eric D Johnson (Fruit Bats), and The National/Craig Finn/Hiss Golden Messenger/Josh Ritter collaborator (and now member of Paul Banks’ new band Muzz) Josh Kaufman — is steeped in centuries-old tradition, but they sound like a breath of fresh air. Their debut album is a mix of traditional folk songs (including the one they’re named after) and originals, and Bonny Light Horseman often drastically rework the traditionals and make them entirely their own. It’s an album that could appeal to fans of classic folk rock like Fairport Convention as much as to more recent indie folk acts like Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver (whose Justin Vernon appears on the album and released it on 37d03d, the label he runs with The National’s Aaron Dessner, who also played on the album), and it’s one of the most refreshing albums in this style to be released in recent memory.

The new song from Bonny Light Horseman, “Deep In Love,” began as a Fruit Bats sketch, until Josh Kaufman recognized its uncanny (and unplanned) similarity to a traditional tune by that name. available on 37d03d Records.

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Bonny Light Horseman, the new folk supergroup consisting of singer/songwriters Anais Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, and Eric D. Johnson (of Fruit Bats). Their self-titled debut album is out December of 2019, and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to them. Bonny Light Horseman is full of beautiful songs inspired by traditional folk tunes of the British Isles, and we know you’ll be amazed by the gentle harmonies, gorgeous songwriting, and soothing sound of this great debut work.

The folk event of the year could already be upon us. Bonny Light Horseman may sound like a meaningless arrangement of words, but it’s actually Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson and Josh Kaufman, three incredible musicians and creators in their own rights who decided to bless the acoustic music world by joining forces. And their namesake is actually derived from an English-Irish ballad with origins in the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, “Bonny Light Horseman,” which is also the first track on their self-titled debut album and features The National’s Aaron Dessner on guitar. The three artists first gathered at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Festival circa summer 2018, and a year later they rendezvoused at Pickathon. You know the Portland-based Johnson from his band Fruit Bats, and Mitchell is the mastermind behind Hadestown, which won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, and its coinciding concept album, which she first released in 2010. Kaufman is a producer who’s notably worked with Craig Finn, Josh Ritter and The National. Together, they’ve made something truly spellbinding: a folk album whose influences span the centuries and the continents, but whose core is so very of-this-moment.

Their timeless qualities of traditional tunes can carry us across oceans and eons, linking us not only to the past but to each other as well. It was under the banner of those eternal connections that the trio of Bonny Light Horseman came together. From festival fields and a German art hub to a snowy upstate studio and everywhere in between, the astral folk outfit is mixing the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush. The resulting album, Bonny Light Horseman, is an elusive kind of sonic event: a bottled blend of lightning and synergy that will excite fans of multiple genres, eras, and ages. The album features fellow 37d03d artists-in-residence Michael Lewis (bass, saxophone) and JT Bates (drums) as well as Justin Vernon, Aaron Dessner, Kate Stables, Lisa Hannigan, The Staves, Christian Lee Hutson, and more. Leaving the 2018 37d03d Berlin event with roughly 60-percent of a record, the band reconvened at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY, in January 2019 to finish, bringing Lewis and Bates as well as engineer Bella Blasko along with them.

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One of the year’s best folk records is by a supergroup comprised of some of the most accomplished artists in music today. We’ve got Anaïs Mitchell, the force behind Hadestown, Eric D. Johnson, leader of the Fruit Bats, and Josh Kaufman, composer/writer/arranger who’s penned music for everyone from Bob Weir to The National. Their debut LP finds the trio reimagining centuries-old English, Irish and Appalachian tunes in a way that sounds modern and new. Take the set’s lead track “Bonny Light Horseman,” for example, a ballad about a soldier killed during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century. The trio’s storytelling prowess is on full display here.

Fresh off their debut appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, Anaïs Mitchell (whose Hadestown recently led the 2019 Tony Awards with eight wins, including ‘Best Musical’), Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), and Josh Kaufman (Craig Finn, Josh Ritter, The National) officially announce their new group, Bonny Light Horseman. The trio has also shared their debut single “Bonny Light Horseman,” a cover of the folk ballad that features Aaron Dessner on hi string guitar, as well as JT Bates (Big Red Machine, Phil Cook) on drums and Michael Lewis (Bon Iver) on tenor sax — both of whom also perform with Bonny Light Horseman live. Johnson explains, “This is a song about a handsome soldier who may or may not ever come home. And we named our band after it not just because it sounds kind of cool, but because it’s somewhat emblematic of what we’re trying to do here: sing you ancient love songs of timeless humanity and heartbreak. Songs that are gonna make you feel something no matter what century you’re in.”

This past weekend, Bonny Light Horseman performed one of their first shows (“our fourth or five,” Johnson approximated) to a packed crowd at Newport Folk Festival. The group first formed in 2018 during a residency at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Festival. Bonny Light Horseman will go on the road with Mandolin Orange next month.