The string and vocal trio LOW LILY (formerly Annalivia)
explores the roots and branches of American folk music with traditional influences and modern inspiration. The members of the trio have deep relationships to traditional music styles ranging from bluegrass to Irish, English, New England and Old Time Appalachian sounds. Their new self-titled EP brings these influences together in a collection of six songs which includes original and traditional material on three voices, guitars, mandolin, fiddle, and double bass.
Low Lily’s members are Liz Simmons on vocals and guitar, Flynn Cohen on vocals, guitar and mandolin, and Lissa Schneckenburger on vocals and fiddle. With guitar-wiz Scott Nygaard as co-producer, they recorded Low Lily, engineered by Alan Stockwell, in Brattleboro, VT. Additional musicians include Corey DiMario on double bass, and Fred Simmons on trombone. The album is a deep and intricate ‘postcard from the road’, with songs that are mainly about traveling. This EP follows the band’s last album The Same Way Down, when they were known as Annalivia, which debuted at #7 on the international folk DJ charts with a #1 played song on folk radio worldwide, and they reached #1 played artist in the Massachusetts RMR.
The album begins with their driving, moody take on the traditional song “House Carpenter”. One that highlights their arranging chops of traditional material, this track is a must-hear for anyone who likes traditional American songs with English roots. Track two takes on a more contemporary feel with fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger’s original entitled “The Girl’s Not Mine”. Punctuated by three-part trombone lines, this song ties together the traditional/original flavor, launching into a fiddle solo in the middle that is reminiscent of a traditional tune. The third track is Flynn Cohen’s high energy instrumental entitled “Northern Spy”. Flynn and Lissa’s stellar and precise tune-playing on mandolin and fiddle respectively is well represented here, and Liz and Corey drive it on rhythm guitar and bass. The next two tracks are both about going on a journey– Liz’s original “Adventurer” and Flynn’s original “All Roads Lead to You”. Lushly arranged with 3-part vocal harmonies, plucked strings, warm fiddle lines, and a reprise of horns on “All Roads”, these songs take the listener to a more introspective place. The EP finale, the fiddle medley “Cherokee Shuffle/Lucky”, begins gently but lifts high in the end.
Bringing together modern sensibilities with respect for the roots of folk and fiddle music, this album exemplifies the new acoustic sound that is in revival today. Low Lily is a lush sampling of all this band has to offer as part of the new frontier of folk music.