Common Ground Coffeehouse
At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Ave., Hastings on Hudson New York
with special guest Robert Sarazin Blake
“Ms. Mitchell’s songs address contemporary angst with uncanny vision… a formidable songwriting talent” THE NEW YORK TIMES
“The most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist currently working in the field of new American ‘folk ’music” INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
“Blake, being a master of stage presence and completely at ease, he was capable of bringing the crowd to a complete silence. His ability to make a story out of a moment, a moment every audience member is a part of no less, is one of the best forms of concert entertainment I’ve ever experienced.”
Anaïs Mitchell is a Vermont and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who comes from the world of narrative folk song, poetry and balladry. She recorded for Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are six full-length albums, including 2010’s sensationally-reviewed Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth; 2012’s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’; and 2013’s Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, which won a BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Traditional Track.
Mitchell has headlined shows worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown) Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. Her stage production of Hadestown, which was ten years in the making, opened Off-Broadway in May 2016 to rave reviews. The New York Times called it “inventive, beguiling and spellbinding” while Vogue announced that “Hadestown will be your new theater obsession.” The show was extended twice as a result of critical success and sell-out performances. If there’s a common thread in Mitchell’s work – from her earliest acoustic records to the Hadestown show – it’s that she’s as interested in the world around her as the one inside her. She has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. That’s perhaps why the New York Times noted that her songs “address contemporary angst with uncanny vision…. a formidable songwriting talent.”
Opening the evening is Robert Sarazin Blake. In 1997, Blake dropped out of college and hit the road. He hasn’t stopped. Eleven full-length albums into his career, he’s continued to write pulling from folk roots, his travels, his contemporaries, and the quiet spot in the back of his mind. The writing has evolved, mellowing with experience and expanding with reference, but the essence of the work has remained the same –- strong narratives solidly built on the folk foundation and fully in the immediacy of the now.