Yarn

Yarn

Mamma's Marmalade

Thu · May 3, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm (event ends at 11:00 pm)

$15.00 - $20.00

Tickets at the Door

Yarn
Yarn
You might expect a band that calls itself Yarn to, naturally, tend to spin a yarn or two. “that’s

what we do, we tell stories, live and in the studio, truth and fiction” singer/songwriter Blake

Christiana insists. “We don’t always opt for consistency. There’s a different vibe onstage from

what comes through in our recordings. There’s a difference in every show as well, you never

know what you’re going to get.”


It’s with that in mind that Yarn has announced a series of singles that will be digitally released

on the 13th of every month beginning in January and continuing throughout the year. Each

“single” will include an “A side”, a “B side” and an exclusive alternate version of one of the

songs. Naturally, there’s no better name for the project than “Lucky 13.”


“These are essentially road stories,” Christiana says. “There’s an overriding theme that links

these songs in a very broad sort of way, but again, the stories are not to be taken literally. The

intention was to share the feeling of what it’s like to spend time traveling from city to city, with

all the unlikely experiences that can be encountered along the way.


“People always ask us to tell them road stories,” singer-guitarist Rod Hohl adds. “While this

batch of songs aren’t exactly literal road stories, most deal with some degree of adventure and

adversity as inspired by our tours and treks around the country. Yet like any good story, there’s

an imaginative element to it as well. That’s why we’ve decided to release alternate versions of

some of the tracks, to provide a glance at the oddities that exist just beyond sight...”


The titles of these tracks summarize the stories at a glance. Hohl describes “Sioux City,” “Road

Less Traveled” and “Hurricane” as adventure stories as seen from the perspective of the road.

“Too Young” re-imagines that road as an analogy, the highway of life. “Weary,” as the title implies, describes the toll taken by that seemingly endless journey. However, there’s also hope on the horizon; “Heaven in You” suggests that there is an oasis out there somewhere. “Promised Land” and “American Dream” offer a reason why one might choose to embark upon that sojourn in the first place.


Yarn has never been content to simply ride a wave and see where it takes them. Their last

album, This Is the Year, was celebratory in tone and boldly optimistic. A seamless blend of

vibrant, inspired, back porch melodies and narrative, descriptive lyrics, it detailed the challenges

one faces when life is jolted off its bearings and, in re-evaluating relationships, tough choices

must be made that sometimes skirting the rules. It was recorded in the aftermath of real-life

challenges that left the band splintered and unsure of their forward trajectory.


“We were dealing with real-life issues,” Christiana said at the time. “Broken relationships, a

sense of having to regroup and put some things -- and people -- behind us. That’s what I was writing about lyrically in the new songs and it became kind of a catharsis. Nothing was contrived. We didn’t have to relate to it in the third person. We were living these circumstances, and that gave us the impetus and inspiration to share our sentiments. Ultimately those setbacks and difficulties led to new opportunities and allowed a little light to shine through.”


Yarn’s ability to persevere ought to come as no great surprise, especially for a band that spent

two years honing their chops during a Monday night residency at the famed Kenny’s Castaway

in New York’s Greenwich Village. In effect, it allowed them to rehearse onstage, mostly in front

of audiences that often ranged in size from five to a hundred people on any given night. Five

studio albums followed -- Yarn (2007), Empty Pockets (2008), Come On In (2010), Almost Home (2012) and Shine the Light On (2013).


The band then took to the road, playing upwards of 170 shows a year and sharing stages with such superstars as Dwight Yoakam, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, Allison Krauss, Leon Russell, Jim Lauderdale and The Lumineers. They performed at any number of prestigious venues -- Mountain Stage, Daytrotter, the Orange Peel in Asheville, the Fox Theater in Boulder, the 9:30 Club in D.C, South by Southwest, the Strawberry Festival, Rhythm and Roots, Meadowgrass, Floydfest and more, eventually surpassing 1,000 shows, half a million miles and performances in nearly every state. They’ve driven nonstop, made countless radio station appearances, driven broken-down RVs and watched as their van caught fire. They’ve paid their dues and then some, looking forward even as they were forced to glance behind.


Indeed, the accolades piled up quickly along the way. They have landed on the Grammy ballot 4

times, garnered nods from the Americana Music Association, placed top five on both Radio and

Records and the AMA album charts garnered airplay on Sirius FM, iTunes, Pandora, CNN, and

CMT, and also accorded the “Download of the Day” from Rolling Stone. Shine the Light On

found shared songwriting credits with John Oates (the Oates of Hall & Oates fame), and when

audiences expressed their admiration, it brought the band a populist following of diehard

devotees, popularly known as “the Yarmy.”


As odd as that might seem, it’s proof positive that the Brooklyn and Raleigh based band -- which

is currently comprised of Blake Christiana, Rod Hohl, bassist Rick Bugel, and drummer Robert

Bonhomme -- have made their mark, and in dealing with their emotions, scars, and circumstances, they find themselves in a position to share those experiences with others who

have juggled similar sentiments.


Then again, one needn’t take them at their word. When one unravels Yarn, it’s best to add one’s

own interpretations.
Mamma's Marmalade
Mamma's Marmalade
Mamma's Marmalade has always brought a fresh vibrancy to old traditions. Since their formation in the spring of 2014, the Northampton, MA-based quintet has delved into the limitless capabilities of classic bluegrass instrumentation (banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass) and explored the parallels of acoustic music, ranging from the blues to Old Time, from gypsy jazz to bluegrass. The authenticity of their music calls listeners back to a time when wooden instruments, analogue sound and sweet vocal harmonies captivated the hearts of America. With a deep respect for tradition, and an eye towards contemporary music, Mamma's Marmalade brings an exciting new energy to the enduring narrative of American folk music.

You may have seen one of their spirited performances on stages at The Fresh Grass Festival, Joe Val Festival, The Shea Theater and on many more stages throughout New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine. They have had the privilege of sharing bills with artists such as Jayme Stone and Fruition. They recently released their debut full length record, “Goodbye, Black Velvet” in June of 2017, followed by a successful release tour.
Venue Information:
Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center
289 Main St
Greenfield, MA, 01301
https://www.hawksandreed.com/