Ismay
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Ismay
Tribute to Hazel Dickens

Ismay

featuring Eli West

Jul 12
Joe Henderson Lab

The brainchild of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Avery Hellman — the granddaughter of bluegrass icon and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass founder Warren Hellman — Ismay was inspired by the historic music of the rural American West. Raised in a Petaluma and immersed in the deep bluegrass legacy of her family from childhood, Hellman was deeply influenced by the American folk tradition preserved in the priceless field recordings of Alan Lomax and the work of Emmylou Harris, Hazel Dickens, Mississippi John Hurt, and Leonard Cohen.

She developed a dazzling fingerpicking guitar style that, when matched to her beautifully ethereal vocals, creates a dynamic blend that references the sounds of the past while remaining steadfastly modern. A reference to the small Montana town detailed in author Jonathan Raban’s valentine to the rural west, Bad Land, Ismay is the name used by Hellman both as a solo artist and for performances with her band. Her ghostly and evocative original songs bring the lives and landscape of the rural country into vivid focus, inspired by Hellman’s frequent horseback travels throughout the western U.S. A recent sojourn to the Klamath River along the California/Oregon border inspired the music from Ismay’s debut EP, Songs From a River, recorded partially in the field and partially in the studio. Ismay has shared the stage with Justin Townes Earle, Robert Earl Keen, Chuck Prophet, and The Mother Hips, and was featured in KQED’s list of musicians to watch in 2018.

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A dynamic blend that references the sounds of the past while remaining steadfastly modern.

In her music, Ismay is intent on emanating the tale of her coming into her own as a singer-songwriter through her revitalized passion for the natural world. She does so with an accomplished poise and grace without losing a strand of sincerity.

PopMatters

In her music, Ismay is intent on emanating the tale of her coming into her own as a singer-songwriter through her revitalized passion for the natural world. She does so with an accomplished poise and grace without losing a strand of sincerity.

PopMatters

Personnel

Avery Hellman guitar & vocals
Eli West guitar & vocals
Owen Clapp bass
Alisa Rose fiddle
Andy Allen-Fahlander mandolin

With an ear for an old-time aesthetic and artistry of indie folk, Ismay blends inventive songwriting, ethereal vocals, and dynamic fingerpicking on her new EP, 'Songs From A River.'

No Depression

Personnel

Avery Hellman guitar & vocals
Eli West guitar & vocals
Owen Clapp bass
Alisa Rose fiddle
Andy Allen-Fahlander mandolin

With an ear for an old-time aesthetic and artistry of indie folk, Ismay blends inventive songwriting, ethereal vocals, and dynamic fingerpicking on her new EP, 'Songs From A River.'

No Depression

Watch & Listen

Ismay

River of Light (Through the Inland Empire)

Ismay

Oh Precious Light

Ismay

River of Light (Through the Inland Empire)

Ismay

Oh Precious Light