Noted Canadian banjo player/composer Jayme Stone has announced an April 7 release for his next project, Folklife, on Borealis Records. The project is a continuation and extension of his current fascination with the traditional folk music of many cultures, incorporating what he describes as “Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos, and stomp-down Appalachian dance tunes” in the same spirit as his Lomax Project from 2015.
The songs were chosen from the Library of Congress’ Archive of American Folklife, all classics that have survived over multiple generations. Stone’s chief collaborator is again Moira Smiley, a very talented and versatile vocalist uniquely suited to a project that crosses so many genres. Former Carolina Chocolate Drop Dom Flemons also makes an appearance.
Fans of how the banjo can be used outside of bluegrass are sure to be drawn to Folklife. Jayme plays what might be called a typical bluegrass-style resonator banjo, in a three finger style, utilizing the instruments distinctive tones and timbres as the basis for the ten tracks, accompanied primarily by fiddle, bass, and accordion.
He created this overview video to explain the project and share some of the music for his recently-concluded, successful KickStarter campaign. Sumaia Jackson is on fiddle and Joe Phillips on bass.
Though the album is still almost two months out, a major tour in support begins this weekend in Leavenworth, WA, covering large parts of the US and Canada between now and early June. Full tour details can be found online.