Evie Ladin Band (April 2016)

Evie Ladin Band (April 2016)

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 new album opens with a snappy ode to summer festival jams, the adventurous title track “Jump the Fire.”  From there on, a folk operetta emerges as you move down the tracks, and the listener follows a story.  From the roaring party of the opener, to settling in on the smooth “Cozy,” traveling down through perhaps the world’s only Appalachian/Broadway mash-up “Ease on Down,” falling in love to the Carter Family’s “Honey Lou;” the sauciness of “Heat of the Day” to a first family “Two = 3.” The traditional “Coocoo” gets a rhythmic send-up.  One then follows the relationship into the slog of straight-up grown-up life in “Have it All,” and the percussive “Walking in a Straight Line.” Witness the dissolution of love with the Louvin Brothers/Beatles-inspired “Only You,” the raw humor on “Drinking About You,” the raw humanity of floating loss in “Under the Waterline.” The opera bookends in action: pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and “Jump Up & Go.”

Joining her on this album are 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, cajon, 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.

With Jump The Fire, the band set out to convey the energy and character of their live show, capturing sonically the palpable connection they hold with audiences – an electric experience, showcasing mastery of percussive dance and emotive, nuanced stories in catchy songs.  Yet each track on this new release was the culmination of many experiences. After countless tours and travels, in mid-career, Evie  needed the rejuvenation of a sabbatical. She took a writer’s retreat, with the exceptional challenge of writing 20 songs in 12 hours. She collected over 100 pieces of songs from several years of touring and teaching, singing into her recorder, writing on scraps, and finally gave them the time. She left the retreat with over 25 songs; and when she played them for her band, they loved each song more than the last.  Galvanized on her path, Jump the Fire was born with the Evie Ladin Band 3.0.

Music is meant to move. Music is to do. In listening, live or on record, Evie keeps bringing you back to these basics, while savoring the real stuff of life.  Jump the Fire!