A girl stabs herself after sleeping with her brother, a young man is fed poisoned eels by his murderous lover and a pregnant woman fails to talk her husband from the hangman's noose. The nineteenth-century collection of English and Scottish folk songs known as the Child Ballads is dramatic, hauntingly beautiful, and just occasionally sick as fuck. And it's inspired everyone from Fairport Convention to The Decemberists to Vermont songwriter Mitchell, who's teamed up with songwriter/instrumentalist Hamer for an album ('Child Ballads') of delicate rearrangements. They're supported here by elegant and evocative folk singer Chaney, who accompanies her slowly unwinding traditional songs of love and longing on guitar, piano and exquisite Indian harmonium.
Anaïs Mitchell/Jefferson Hamer + Olivia Chaney