Date(s) - 6/11/2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Surry Arts at the Barn
We are happy to be able to feature this fine young singer songwriter duo from Portland at the barn for the first time.
Putnam Smith, who hails from Portland, Maine, could be an old-world troubadour fresh from the 19th Century. After all, he lives in a log cabin, plays his Grandfather’s banjo, and prints up the jackets of his CDs on an antique Letterpress. Yet this rootsy multi-instrumentalist songwriter (he also writes and performs on guitar, mandolin, fretless banjo, and piano), steeped as he is in old-time Appalachian traditions, is very much a storyteller for the modern age. Putnam first came to national attention with his 2009 release, “Goldrush,” which went to #5 on the national Folk & Bluegrass DJ Charts (and made it on 6 “Favorite Albums of 2009” lists). His next release, “We Could Be Beekeepers” shot right up to #2 the month it was released, charting 3 songs in the top ten (www.folkradio.org). Selected as an “Emerging Artist” at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (2011), and noted as “One To Watch” (Rob Reinhart, Acoustic Cafe), Putnam has begun to establish himself as an acoustic tour-de-force not only in his hometown of Portland, but as a nationally touring musician as well. Engaging folks with humor, charm, and storytelling, Putnam has performed in 40 states, from East Coast to West. His audiences have been known to howl like wolves, sing like moonshiners, and laugh and cry like, well, like human beings. As Maine’s indie newspaper the Maine Edge says: “He’s that rare breed of musician that manages to sound like a throwback without ever coming off as dated.”
Ashley began writing songs as a child in Western Massachusetts with a hay wagon as the stage and sheep for an audience. She ventured into vocal training at Skidmore College and has toured with chamber and a-capella groups. She has collaborated on a range of projects ranging from soul and jazz to a-cappella and folk trios. Her songwriting remains rooted in the folk tradition and incorporates intricate harmonies, soulful melodies, and acoustic finger picking. Her lyrics have been described as catchy and confessional and dare listeners to question and to simplify life. She is currently ranked #1 on Maine Folk Charts by ReverbNation and is releasing her full length debut album in July 2016.