Description of Anais Mitchell's Music:
About Anais Mitchell's 'Hadestown':
In the myth, Orpheus was such an exceptional musician, he could tame animals and move mountains with a song. His wife Eurydice died and was taken to the underworld (where Orpheus had visited before). Mourning his death, Orpheus went to retrieve her from the grip of Hades and was granted the retrieval under one condition: Orpheus must lead his wife out of the underworld without looking back at her. His love overcame him and he looked back, losing Eurydice forever.
Mitchell set this tale against the imagery of economic depression in the contemporary world, rolling in themes of fear and poverty. Though the recording features Justin Vernon, Ani DiFranco, and Greg Brown, Mitchell has performed it around the world with different casts each time, local to the town in which she's playing. (For more information, read my review of Anais Mitchell's Hadestown.
Recommended CDs by Anais Mitchell:
Country EP (Righteous Babe, 2008) purchase/download from Amazon
The Brightness (Righteous Babe, 2007) purchase/download from Amazon
Purchase/Download Anais Mitchell MP3s:
"Song of the Magi" (from The Brightness)
"Come September" (from Country EP with Rachel Ries)
Anais Mitchell Biography:
In 2002, at the age of 21, Anais Mitchell recorded her debut effort The Song They Sang When Rome Fell and released it shortly thereafter. The following summer, she earned the folk music stamp of approval at the annual Kerrville Folk Music Festival, where she won the 2003 New Folk competition. She made her second album in 2004 for Chicago's Waterbug Records (Jonathan Byrd, Kat Eggleston, Tom Payne, Danny Schmidt, Sloan Wainwright), attracting the attention of Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records who decided to put out her next couple of albums.
That first Righteous Babe release (titled The Brightness) didn't drop until 2007, as Mitchell was busy working on folk opera Hadestown and staging early productions of it the play. The recording of Hadestown was released by Righteous Babe in 2010. That disc's follow-up, Young Man in America is due to hit stores and online retail outlets in early 2012. The disc is, reportedly, a response to the economic recession which has been dominating US news headlines for years.
In all, Mitchell has recorded and released five albums - three on Righteous Babe, one on Waterbug, and one self-release. In addition to the rare honor of being a Kerrville New Folk finalist and winner, Mitchell was nominated for a Folk Alliance Award in 2008 for Best Contemporary Artist.