Modern folk musicians Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald, from Nevada City, CA., have been writing and performing original, contemporary folk music for 28 years. A blend of contemporary and traditional styles, their music is graced by exquisite harmony, compelling songwriting, deceptively simple arrangements and intricate guitar work…all embraced by great heart.
They’ve been applauded throughout the US as well as overseas for the lyrical content of their songs and vocal blend…a haunting style which weaves unique harmonies into a rich tapestry of guitar work and storytelling.
They are Kerrville, Telluride and Rocky Mtn New Folk award winners, to name just a few, but the real nature of their musical voice doesn’t come into focus as easily as reciting a list of these coveted prizes. The quiet way they live and work flows through their music like water, and washes over you as surely as the notes do. You get the impression that working for issues like peace and justice shouldn’t keep us from dropping everything to help a stray animal in need, and that ambition is nothing without love, because one thing follows another, one hand connected to the other. In an uncompromising yet comforting way their music is patient, like talking with someone who looks you in the eye, someone who reminds you to breathe, because these things might take a little time. Their songs are filled with stories that touch us all, and whether it’s love or politics, war and peace, old farmers, old women or the earth and our children, this music brings to life both history and today with a powerful mix of inclusion and compassion.
At home in large venues like the Strawberry, Kerrville or Kate Wolf music festivals, a late night ‘in the round’ tribute to Woody Guthrie with folks they greatly admire like Jackson Browne, Eliza Gilkyson, Steve Earle and Jimmy Lafave, or in the small intimate setting of a living room house concert, Paul and Eleanore sing with the same voice. One that is personal and unguarded… a voice draped in stark and ethereal harmonies that are as welcoming as the crackling warmth of a fire.
Since 1987 Paul and Eleanore have independently produced 9 albums of original music, receiving critical acclaim from all of the various trade reviewers worldwide. Music from these CDs are played on NPR, Community, College and Public radio stations the world over as well as on internet and satellite radio. They’ve been featured in Sing Out! Magazine, Air America, Democracy Now!… ’Josephine’, from the CD ‘Fool’s Paradise’, was used at a multimedia event in 2002, commemorating the events of 9/11/2001 at Ground Zero in NYC. They’ve been seen on PBS performing on a few episodes of the ‘California Heartland’ series, and have had their song ‘Calling on Love’ used in a PBS ‘Visionaries’ segment. Most recently their song, ‘The Dark Seed’ is to be featured in a upcoming documentary film by Aaron Lucich, ‘We Are What We Eat’, and their rendition of Kate Wolf’s song ‘Unfinished Life’ is included on Nina Gerber’s latest CD ‘Good Music With Good People…Live at the Kate Wolf Music Festival’.
Their newest CD, ‘From the Fire’ (released in June 2010) features the work of guest artists Joe Craven, Nina Gerber, Bill Douglass and Tom Menig (Alela Diane). It charted #45 out of 265 CDs on Richard Gillman’s ‘most played of 2010’ list based on playlists submitted by Folk DJ’s worldwide … the song ‘Ship Gonna Sail’, co- written with their friend and respected elder, the late Utah Phillips, is featured in Sing Out! Volume 54#1 — Nov./Dec. 2010 & Jan. 2011 and will be featured in the April 2011’s edition of ‘Labor Notes’ (www.labornotes.org)… now Paul and Eleanore are hoping to start work on a long planned recording of unrecorded pieces written by Utah Philips.
A concert with Paul and Eleanore is a night to remember…the depth and beauty of their lyrical and harmonic mastery is filled with colour, their songwriting is stimulating, inspirational, magical, folky yet somehow all smoky jazzy and far away places too, and it might make you want to get up and move…their powerful lyrical imagery and haunting and moving harmony always in honor of their folk roots.