Songswarm Vol 2 is in the works! We recorded showcases at Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) last year and Folk Alliance International (FAI) & Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA) this year and we’ve whittled down the possibilities to around 140 songs…listening and moving to next step of mixdown. Stay tuned! Wowzah!
Blues and Roots Radio introduces Songswarm Vol I to the world! We are now being played internationally!
ALBUM REVIEWS – June 21st, 2017
Songswarm Vol. 1
Label: Puffbunny Records
Release Date: 05/09/2017
A songswarm occurs when two or three songwriter performers improvise and accompany on each others original songs. Enter Taylor Pie, a folk singer well known for her time with the Pozo-Seco Singers. Taylor missed having other folks on stage during solo performances, and so the Songswarm project began. For four years, live, multi-tracked recordings were collected throughout music venues in Texas.
You’ll find yourself joining in on the swarms too. “Throw a Nickel” by Michael O’Connor is catchy, as is Taylor Pie’s “Oh, Mandolin.” Both pull you into some deep roots and you feel as though you’re a big part of the album as well.
For a unique folksong experience, look no further. This is “Volume One”; I certainly hope another set isn’t too far behind.
“The title from the recent Songswarm release is a noun. By definition, Songswarm is ‘two or three performers practicing their art or act of improvisational accompaniment on each other’s original songs in front of an audience’. PuffBunny Records ups the ante for the pot of tracks collected on Songswarm, Vol. 1, offering six songwriters with two tracks each on the release. Taylor Pie, the catalyst and producer for the project, plays on the album as well as surrounding herself with top tunesmiths from the Lone Star State.Songswarm, Vol.1 presents music from Texans such as Michael O’Connor, Jeff Plankenhorn, George Ensle, Greg Whitfield, and Jack Saunders.
The players offer their music as they back each other instrumentally on the album.
Taylor Pie (Susan Taylor) has a resume in music going back to the 1960’s as a part of the Pozo Seco Singers who took their hit “Time” to the top of the charts. She fronted the City Country band in New York City in the 1970’s and traveled as a solo act during the 1980’s. Throughout her career, the art of the song was at the heart of what Taylor Pie found important about playing. She found a home in the Songswarm movement feeling that it ‘has become my favorite way to walk on a stage’. Songswarm, Vol. 1 offers two tracks from Taylor Pie as she closes out the compilation with “Peace Within” joined by George Ensle and Jack Saunders , and brings in help for “Oh, Mandolin” from Michael O’Connor and Jeff Plankenhorn to form a trio of mandolins to back her song. Greg Whitfield whispers the story of a guitar born in Nazareth, Pennsylvania with “Martin’s Song” as George Ensle strums folk blues for “Knee Deep in a River” and Jack Saunders tells the tale of a troubadour in “This Highway”. The gathering of musicians presents the gentle picking of Michael O’Connor, a South Texas Walk of Fame recipient singing his “Homesick Boy” and a hard luck story with a rambling rhythm called “Throw a Nickel”. Jeff Plankenhorn brings his own guitar creation (The Plank) into Songswarm, Vol. 1, relating a tale of temptation with “Trouble Find Me” and welcomes Taylor Pie on mandolin for a metaphoric story titled, “The Mess”.
Get your copy of Songswarm Vol. 1 today!