Anaïs Mitchell: Hadestown | CD review

(Righteous Babe)

For her fourth album, folk singer Anaïs Mitchell has made a bold leap: a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, reset to the Great Depression, and soundtracked by American roots music, incorporating country, blues and jazz in the manner of Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions project. Mitchell plays Eurydice, with Justin "Bon Iver" Vernon playing Orpheus, Ben Knox Miller of the Low Anthem as Hermes, and Greg Brown and Ani DiFranco as Hades and Persephone. But the star of the show is Michael Chorney, who has scored Mitchell's songs to wondrous effect: the New Orleans jazz of Way Down Hadestown, the grumbling lament of Why We Build the Wall, the sweet and tumbling melody of Wedding Song. A project like this runs the risk of dryness, but between them Mitchell and Chorney have created something joyful and witty that yields more with every listen.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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