The original songs and versions of traditional Upper Midwestern tunes on "The Banks of the Little Auplaine" (written or arranged primarily by Julie Johnson, but developed by the band) straddle a line between song and composition, popular and chamber music. Influenced by many artists, including Gillian Welch, Astor Piazzolla, Patty Griffin, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Bela Bartok, and Robert Johnson, the band has struggled to define the music they make. Thomas Mann in "The Magic Mountain" comes the closest, in his description of those pieces that “fell between the two categories” of “the lofty and conscious creation of individual artists” and “simple folk songs … in that they were products of an intellectual art, and at the same time sprang from all that was profoundest and most reverent in the feeling and genius of a people—artificial folk-songs, one might call them, if the word artificial need not be taken to cast a slur on the genuineness of their inspiration."
While the band started out playing the Delta blues tunes and traditional Southern standards that drew them to roots music—artists like Leadbelly, Howlin’ Wolf, and Skip James—here they focus on soulful music from the Upper Midwest. They hope to be a part of finding and interpreting their own region’s melodic, rhythmic, and thematic folk tradition and history.
Julie Johnson, Flute & Bass Flute; Doug Otto, Vocals & Guitar; Drew Druckrey, Vocals, Mandolin, & Resonator Guitar
Guest Artists: Rena Kraut, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet and Jacqueline Ultan, Cello
Cover art: "The Banks of The Little Auplaine" by T.J. Malaske
Liner notes by Cheri Johnson
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Matthew Zimmerman, Wild Sound Recording Studio, Minneapolis, MN
Dedicated to Delbert Friesner