Red Tail Ring, the duo of Michiganders Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo, creates roots music rooted in duality. They’re young artists striving to create something truly original in a crowded industry, but they’re also historians, mining the wealth of the traditional roots songbook and dusting it off for a new generation. Between Beauchamp’s degree in Ethnomusicology and Premo’s studies in traditional Finnish music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, they both bring a larger, international sense of understanding to their practice, and their blend of voices and equally matched virtuosity on a host of instruments- guitar, fiddle, banjo, octave mandolin, mandolin and jaw harp- allows them to bridge the gap between the old and the new. “New Time Roots, Old Time Sounds,” as they like to say. Since forming in 2009, the band has released three full-length albums, and is gearing up to release their fourth, Fall Away Blues, on September 2nd via Michigan’s Earthwork Music.
Today, Elmore is exclusively streaming Fall Away Blues in advance of its release. Beauchamp and Premo told us about the record, “we struggled during the years of working on this material, trying to sort out what subject matter and even instrumental applications we wanted to attempt as a band. In the end, we both trusted each other and took chances on each other’s ideas, and this is what came out. But it took a while, and a lot of attempts, let downs, and later, small victories to get to that point.” Listening through the album, it’s clear that the wait was worth it. Red Tail Ring doesn’t create a ruckus—they aren’t trying to create a large sound. Rather, the tracks flow seamlessly in intimate, deliberate measures, the sparseness of the instrumentation leaving room for the duo’s earthy harmonies to soar. The album’s opener, and the title track, “Fall Away Blues,” sets the tone of the album, heartbreaking in its wistful tenderness, yet ringing of hope for the unknowns that lie ahead. Beauchamp and Premo alternative lead vocals adding a romantic dynamism to the work, as each piece returns to the careful, tight blending of male and female tones.
Order Fall Away Blues via Red Tail Ring’s website here. Stream the record below.