The Davis Live Music Collective present Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer with special guests Frank Fairfield and Tom Conlon in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E 14th St.
Tickets are $16 in advance at Armadillo Music or davislivemusic.com. Tickets at the door are $20. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
Mitchell began writing and performing at 17, attracting the attention of Ani DiFranco, who signed Mitchell to her label. In 2006, Mitchell wrote the folk opera “Hadestown,” staged to critical acclaim in London. Hamer began his career with Colorado roots rockers Great American Taxi.
He and Mitchell share a love of English folk music, and planned to record some of their favorites together. What began as a side project evolved into their new album “Child Ballads,” the pair’s take on a collection of traditional English ballads. Driven by two guitars and close harmonies that call to mind Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, their versions have been re-imagined to reflect their own sensibility and respect for tradition.
“We kept thinking back to those records we loved so much,” Mitchell said, “and finally decided that what the songs wanted was to be presented as simply as possible; melody, harmony, acoustic instruments, live taping — the stories really out front.”
Mitchell has a way of tackling big themes with the intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. It doesn’t matter whether the stories she tells are her own or someone else’s. “The emotions are my own,” Mitchell said.
Originally from Fresno, Fairfield is making a name for himself performing traditional songs and originals from his encyclopedic knowledge of American folk music.
Visit davislivemusic.com for more information.