If a life well-lived is defined by the sum of its experiences, Evie Ladin has already lived one to the fullest, and she’s not done yet. The Evie Ladin Band‘s new album, Jump the Fire (May 6th), is a testament to each of those experiences, geared up for whatever is coming next.
Jump the Fire not only introduces you to the energy and character of the band’s live show, capturing a palpable audience connection through emotive, catchy songs and masterful percussive dance, the album happens to tell a story. Opening with the title track, a snappy ode to summer festival jams, a folk operetta emerges. From that roaring party, we settle in to the smooth “Cozy;” essential stories of love and family give way to straight-up grown-up life in “Have it All;” through the dissolution of love with the Louvin Brothers/Beatles-inspired “Only You,” and the raw floating loss of “Under the Waterline,” the opera bookends in action – pick yourself up, “Jump Up & Go.”
Ladin fronts the band and writes the lyrics. The daughter of an international folk dance teacher and old-time folk music devotee, Evie grew up believing that playing music, dancing and singing with others is what people do. Tradition bearers came through her house, played in her living room, with weekends spent running free at music festivals and parties. The neo-trad-kinetic-folk of her Evie Ladin Band is a mingling of the deep Appalachian sound of clawhammer banjo, guitar, bass and percussive dance, with contemporary storytelling and original, conversational interplay among the band members; partly influenced by living in New York, Baltimore – in cities, not mountains, with hip hop on the radio; and her attraction to the African and African-American elements of Appalachian music.
Jump the Fire shows the band’s evolution into a tight trio. Keith Terry (bass, body music, percussion, vocals), trained as a jazz drummer and most known for contemporary body music, goes after tonal percussion on bass, cajón and toys with clever lines and unusual grooves. He and Evie met on the dance floor and live a double life between the Folk/Americana circuit and the International Body Music scene they helped create; elements beautifully integrated into their live show. Erik Pearson (guitar, bass, banjo, vocals) fell in love with old-time music studying composition at Oberlin, and he contributes chordal containment and the ultimate support. Three-part harmony carries the music into the heart.
Listen to “Ease On Down” and get a sneak peek of what’s to come: