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incoming: anaïs mitchell
January 21, 2010, 4:17 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , ,

Anaïs Mitchell
Hadestown

[Righteous Babe; April 26]

Billed as a “folk opera”, this is one album we’ve been waiting for over three years. Originally conceived as a stage musical, first performed in December 2006 in her home state of Vermont, Anaïs has gradually been refining the narrative of this epic piece of work. Based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Hadestown reimagines the story of Orpheus’s journey to the Underworld to rescue his stricken wife, retelling the tale from the perspective of a commercially exploited Depression-era mining town seen through a vintage futurism lens. Speaking to Wears The Trousers in 2008, Anaïs said, “A lot of the vintage ideas for Hadestown came out of the 1930s. It’s a time that is very evocative for me, I think for the whole folk world, the Dust Bowl and the Depression, and the obviousness of the corruption and exploitation of workers. I think it still goes on now, but it’s less obvious, it’s more globally oriented.”

With this recording starring Greg Brown as Hades, King of the Underworld and “a sadistic wall-building boss-king”, Ani DiFranco as his wife Persephone, portrayed as “the proprietess of a speakeasy”, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver as Orpheus, Anaïs as Eurydice, The Low Anthem’s Ben Knox Miller as the messenger Hermes, the original Hadestown cast as the Chorus, and Petra, Rachel and Tanya Haden (aka The Haden Triplets) as the Fates, Hadestown has come a long way from its humble beginnings, its impressive cast really doing Mitchell’s songs and Michael Chorney’s score justice and then some. “It’s beyond belief, hearing these songs come out the mouths of my heroes […] I’m so grateful to the singers for telling this story like they did,” says Anaïs.

Read more about Hadestown in Wears The Trousers #6. Anaïs Mitchell is currently on tour in the UK with labelmate Erin McKeown. Go see her if you can.

Tracklist:
01 Wedding Song [Justin Vernon & Anaïs Mitchell]
02 Epic (Part 1) [Justin Vernon]
03 Way Down Hadestown [Ben Knox Miller, Ani DiFranco, Justin Vernon, Anaïs Mitchell & The Hadestown Chorus]
04 Songbird Intro
05 Hey, Little Songbird [Greg Brown, Anaïs Mitchell]
06 Gone, I’m Gone [Anaïs Mitchell, The Haden Triplets]
07 When The Chips Are Down [The Haden Triplets]
08 Wait For Me [Ben Knox Miller & Anaïs Mitchell]
09 Why We Build The Wall [Greg Brown & The Hadestown Chorus]
10 Our Lady Of The Underground [Ani DiFranco & The Hadestown Chorus]
11 Flowers (Eurydice’s Song) [Anaïs Mitchell]
12 Nothing Changes [The Haden Triplets]
13 If It’s True [Justin Vernon]
14 Papers (Hades Finds Out)
15 How Long? [Ani DiFranco & Greg Brown] *
16 Epic (Part II) [Justin Vernon]
17 Lover’s Desire
18 His Kiss The Riot [Greg Brown]
19 Doubt Comes In [Justin Vernon & Anaïs Mitchell]
20 I Raise My Cup To Him [Anaïs Mitchell & Ani DiFranco]

* A re-recorded version of ‘Hades & Persephone’ from Anaïs’s 2007 album The Brightness.

Anaïs Mitchell website
Label website


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