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Mara Signed to Bell Buckle Records! Special CD Release concert with Gathering Time to Celebrate 6/7 at 4 pm hosted by the Philadelphia Folksong Society, https://pfs.org/digitalvenue/ - Facets of Folk #3 Album 2019 FAI Folk DJ Chart
Listen to Mara on Traditions with Ron Olesko
Mara Levine Interview with Greg Tutwiler from Americana Rhythm Music MagazineListen to "Mara Levine Interview" on Spreaker.
Mara Levine Interview with Artie Martello on WIOX Radio
Bell Buckle Record’s Newest Artist Mara Levine Announces Virtual CD Release Concert To Celebrate Exciting New Partnership With The Label
The Much-Anticipated Broadcast Will Be Hosted By The Philadelphia Folksong Society And Feature Timely Songs Of Social Conscience Performed With Gathering Time
Bell Buckle, TN (June 5, 2020) – Chart-Topping Folk Performer Mara Levine, who is the most recent addition to the preeminent TN label Bell Buckle Records, will be celebrating her new national recording contract with a special encore video broadcast of her Facets of Folk CD release concert. Hosted by the Philadelphia Folksong Society Digital Concert Venue Sunday, June 7 at 4 PM EDT on Facebook, Levine’s CD release concert features powerful songs of social conscience from her new album Facets Of Folk, which hit #1 on the Folk Alliance International Folk DJ charts and had nine songs featured among the Top 20.
Being broadcast virtually in lieu of a follow-up live performance due to Covid-19, Levine’s CD release concert co-bill with the acclaimed Long Island Trio Gathering Time, which was taped at PFS last year, received high praise thanks to their powerful performances.
On Facets of Folk, Levine presents a number of songs of social conscience with themes of taking a stand, making a difference, considering the treatment of others and becoming a better person. "I was inspired by the current political and social challenges facing us in today’s times and thought a lot about the importance of speaking out against injustice, both societal, and in support of people in our lives who are being wronged" said Levine.
Note: Registration in advance of the show is required with a $5 or more donation for the artists requested at the time of registration. Register at https://pfs.org/digitalvenue/ Note, this event will be hosted on Facebook.
Once tickets are purchased, attendees will receive a confirmation e-mail and will need to click the link to the private event to "Join" the group at least 1/2 hour prior to the concert and will be admitted about 15 minutes before the show.
Live Video Preview - You Reap What You Sow by Susan Shann https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDr6P0q0Vc8&feature=youtu.be
Critically-Acclaimed Folk Artist Mara Levine
Signs National Recording Deal With Preeminent Tennessee Label Bell Buckle Records
Bell Buckle, TN (June 1, 2020) – Chart-Topping Folk Performer Mara Levine, whose latest album Facets Of Folk hit #1 on the Folk Alliance International Folk DJ charts and had nine songs featured among the Top 20, has announced that she has signed a deal with renowned TN-based label Bell Buckle Records. According to Levine, this new partnership was the “logical next step in the evolution of my career”.
The New Jersey-based independent artist, who was hailed as “the new standard bearer for folk music” by the Midwest Record, says that her goal in joining Bell Buckle’s family of artists is twofold - to help her reach a wider audience with her music, while also exploring other genres and diversifying her style.
"After working independently for many years, I'm so excited for this opportunity”, said Levine. “Bell Buckle Records is the perfect team to assist me with getting my music out to a much broader audience. I am deeply rooted in folk music, however the past few years I've been studying and doing some performing and recording in the bluegrass genre. I love that Bell Buckle embraces multiple genres and, under their mentorship and support, I can see myself growing musically and working on projects that cross over between folk and bluegrass."
Bell Buckle Records, which is also home to such esteemed artists as Jakob's Ferry Stragglers, Crandall Creek, singer-songwriter Daniel Crabtree and many more, is owned by veteran roots recording artist Valerie Smith. Located in the historic town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, the label provides full marketing, video production, photography, promotion and social media support to its clients, as well as digital music servicing and artist development. Valerie Smith is known in the industry as a creative entity who thinks outside the box and recognizes that no two artists are the same.
"I'm excited to be adding such an established folk/grassicana artist to our roster at Bell Buckle Records”, said Smith. “I believe that Mara will add depth to our talent base and catalog offering for our customers and radio DJs. Mara is definitely someone that I have been looking forward to working with. Her voice is unique, her recordings are beautiful and her talent as a musician is undeniable. I look forward to seeing what she has coming next and I am excited that it will be with Bell Buckle Records."
It was an exciting fall! In February I had a Florida co-bill tour set up with the wonderful group The Whispering Tree from Beacon NY and several DJ placed Facets of folk on their "Favorites of 2019" lists!
Thanks to John Rumsey at KVMR, Joe Pszonek at WNTI and Bluesandrootsradio, and Angela Page from WJFF !!!
Mara and The Whispering Tree had a wonderful tour in Florida, are starting out the tour on January 27 at the Sarasota Folk Club, then they appeared on "The Acoustic Peace Club" hosted by Jeanne Holton Carufel on Feb 1 at 10 am, next the Shack in the Back in High Springs the evening of Feb 1 on Feb 2 at 4 pm a private house concert in Odessa FL at 4 pm ( Mark Carufel opened) with Potluck dinner, then the Boca Folk and Bluegrass club is co-sponsored three private house concerts - Tuesday Feb 4, in Pompano Beach, FL, Weds, Feb 5th in Delray Beach ( potluck snacks and jam, Tom Picard opens) and on Thursday, Feb 6, in South Miami (near the University with Ed Trickett opening). see the calendar for all details. I'also be interviewed with Micheal Stock on WLRN over the phone on February 2, and was the featured performer at Zen Mystery in Dania Beach on February 7, followed by selling my jewelry at the South Florida Folk Festival January 8,9.
Some fantastic quotes have come in:
"HER SIGNATURE SOUND SHINES THROUGH"
"With Facets of Folk, Mara Levine solidifies her position as a folk force to be reckoned with. As on her previous CD Jewels and Harmony, her signature sound shines through: Thoughtful song choice, creative harmonies, rich instrumentation, her own exuberant singing. With an emphasis on songs that make a difference, Mara has created music that is very much for today, but also for years to come." - Si Kahn
"When Chris Lavin and David Amram are saying ‘looky here', we're going to look. On her third album, Levine marks her territory as the new standard bearer for folk music with this classically framed set that finds her interpreting worthy modern classics, protest music and some of the sweetest vocalizing you'll find this side of the golden sounds of the 60s. A flat out winner throughout, this isn't about lo-fi, nostalgia or what ever---it's a delightful slice of the here and now hitting the nail right on the head. Well done." - CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher MIDWEST RECORD 6/24/19
"This collection of 13 "fine and contemporary " folk songs from the likes of Paul Simon, Tommy Sands, Gordon Lightfoot, Bill Staines and Si Kahn is delivered most admirably. Ms. Levine has a wonderful voice which she uses with heart and aplomb, delivering excellent renditions of her extremely well-chosen songs, some well known, some not so much. She takes few liberties or flights of fancy, delivering very straightforward, respectful and comfortable of folk renditions of such songs as "Bitter Green" and "A song For the Asking" Her version of Christine Lavin's "The Moment Slipped Away" is as fine a song as I have ever heard and have now experienced it thanks to Ms. Levine's fine choices on her excellent playlist called Facets of Folk. The world needs more such interpreters of fine and contemporary folk songs. - Les Siemieniuk, Penguin Eggs
This fall....Mara Selected for NERFA Semi-Formal showcase, Florida tour set for 2020, Facets of Folk #1 ALBUM ON THE FAI FOLK DJ CHART FOR JANUARY 2019, MARA #1 ARTIST, DAUGHTERS AND SONS(TOMMY SANDS) #1 SONG
I was honored to have been selected for a SEMI-FORMAL showcase at NERFA this year, and excited to have toured again with long-time partners Gathering Time, who also supported me at the showcase.
The Mara Levine/Gathering Time Northeast Tour kicked off with a special live in-studio appearance on WVBR’s long-running show “Bound For Glory” hosted by Phil Shapiro in Ithaca, NY Sunday, October 20 at 8 PM ( Listen at https://www.wvbr.com/) and then hit Ray Naylors radio show "Philly Folkscene and the Landsdowne Folk Club on October 24th. I have a Semi-Formal Juried Showcase at the prestigious Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference (NERFA) in Stamford, CT Friday, November 8. The tour ends on a high note with a CD celebration party for Facets Of Folk sponsored by the Edison Arts Society at the Edison Twp. Mayor’s office in Edison, NJ Sunday, November 17 at 2 pm.
In addition, Terry Kitchen and I opened for Bill Staines on Saturday, November 2 at the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club in Fairlawn, and opening for Gathering Time on December 27 at the Troubadour in Morristown, NJ on December 27.
Facets of Folk has been getting airplay and reviews throughout Europe since June, through Peter Holmstedt of Hemifran and my CD release concert in Germany with Andrea Ballini and Walk the Line was amazing!
RADIO UPDATE: SO MANY NUMBER ONES!
I’ve been working hard promoting the CD to folk programs around the world and I am thrilled to announce that 'Facets of Folk' was the #1 Album, Mara Levine #1 Artist, Daughters and Sons (Tommy Sands) #1 song (featuring Kim and Reggie Harris, Gathering Time, Andy Leftwich, Mark Schatz, Cheryl Prashker, Akiva Wharton and Sean McComiskey) on the January 2019 FAI Folk DJ Chart! It was also the #5 album on the February chart!
The album had an unprecedented 9 songs in the top 20!
TOP SONGS OF January 2019
1. "Daughters and Sons" (Tommy Sands)
3. "You Reap What You Sow" (Susan Shann) with Greg Blake, Mollie O'Brien, Bob Harris, Rob Ickes, Andy Leftwich, Mark Schatz, Scott Vestal
4. "Be the Change" (Arlon Bennett) with Robin Greenstein, John Guth, Bob Harris, Barbara Novick
6. "By My Silence"(Ellen Bukstel &Nick Annis) with Gathering Time
10. "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" (Leonard Cohen) with Caroline Cutroneo, Bob Harris and Michael G. Ronstadt
12. "Bitter Green"(Gordon Lightfoot) with Gathering Time and John Guth
15. "Song for the Asking"(Paul Simon) With Gathering Time,Bob Harris and Michael G. Ronstadt
17. "Tree of Life"(Eric Peltoneimi) with Caroline Cutroneo,Hillary Foxsong, Ed Trickett
17. "Child of Mine"(Bill Staines) with Josh Joffen and John Guth
In addition, the album has been going strong on the on the NACC (North American College and Community) Folk Chart since it was released to radio on January 1, placing #9 for the week of January 8, #7 for the week ending January 16, #7 for the week of January 22, # 6 for the week ending February 5 and # 5 for the week ending February 12!
Thanks to all the DJs who have been playing the CD and especially those who hosted me on the phone or in the studio! Your support made all the difference!
I had a wonderful CD release concert at the Borderline Folk Music club on Sunday, February 24th with Gathering Time, Terry Kitchen, Robin Greenstein, and the Whispering Tree providing support, and gathering time doing their own wonderful set. We'll be doing CD release events together on June 1 in Philadelphia and November 17 in Edison, NJ with more in the works!
ABOUT FACETS OF FOLK
Called "one of the best singers of her generation" by Christine Lavin, folksinger and jewelry designer Mara Levine, like a skilled gem cutter, selects songs with inherent beauty, examines them carefully, then crafts and polishes them to a glittering brilliance. According to folksinger and activist Si Kahn, “Layering harmony line on top of harmony line, Levine creates rich tapestries of sound and emotion.”
With her third album, FACETS OF FOLK, Levine has found her true voice and it rings clearly and powerfully like a bell or chime, reminiscent of her inspirations Judy Collins and Joan Baez, as she explores some of the different faces of the folk genre. Most songs on the project are filled with Levine’s lush harmony arrangements and invite the listener to sing along.
“As I was selecting material for my third” CD said Levine, “I was inspired by the current political and social challenges facing us today, and thought a great deal about the importance of speaking out against injustice, both societal, and for people in our lives who are being wronged.”
On FACETS OF FOLK, Levine presents a number of songs of social conscience with themes of taking a stand, making a difference, considering the treatment of others and becoming a better person. Those tunes, written by popular contemporary songwriters as well as emerging talents, are all carefully set among folk favorites and lesser known songs. The lead off track, “You Reap What You Sow,” (Susan Shann) recorded with bluegrass luminaries Greg Blake, Bob Harris, Rob Ickes, Andy Leftwich, Mollie O’Brien, Mark Schatz and Scott Vestal, was extremely well received when it was released as a single in November 2017, hitting #1 on the Folk DJ chart and spending 22 weeks on the Bluegrass Today Grassicana chart.
A traditional holiday song from the Scottish Hebrides, “Taladh Chriosda” has been re-recorded with frequent touring partners Gathering Time. Four additional songs were recorded with Gathering Time, including a rousing version of the Tommy Sands protest anthem, “Daughters and Sons”, featuring special guests Kim and Reggie Harris swapping lead vocals with Levine, and “By My Silence” a provocative warning about the perils of remaining passive in the face of injustice, written by award winning Florida singer-songwriters Ellen Bukstel and Nick Annis, which reached #1 on the Folk DJ Chart when it was released as a single in September 2017.
FACETS OF FOLK was co-produced by Bob Harris, (Johnny Cash, Vasser Clements, Girlyman) who plays guitar and helped with arrangements on many of the tracks, and also with John Guth (Tom Chapin, Galt MacDermot) who plays various instruments and helped with arrangements on five of the tracks. Other contributing musicians; Kim and Reggie Harris, Robin Greenstein, Michael G. Ronstadt, Ed Trickett, Josh Joffen, Terry Kitchen, Caroline Cutroneo, Jan Alba, Harold Morton, Sean McComiskey, Barbara Novick, Cheryl Prashker, Tilman Reitzle, Akiva Wharton and Patrice Avsharian Wiseman.
“Mara Levine has done it again!"
Beautifully articulated, Mara's latest recording, "Facets of Folk" is a perfect complement of her gorgeous vocals with a strong sense of who she is and how she wants to express herself. She meticulously picks each song and orders them so that you will be taken on a moving journey. The album reflects a strong theme of social conscience throughout.” - Jeanne Holton, WMNF-FM Tampa, FL