Music Program

Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.

Buffalo Song Project presents

Anaïs Mitchell with Rachel Ries & Mary Milne

Michael Meldrum's Buffalo Song Project presents 26-year-old singer/songwriter and Righteous Babe Records recording artist Anas Mitchell in the intimate setting of Hallwalls' Cinema.

Mitchell started writing songs at age 17 and eventually started performing them live during her school days, which were punctuated by a remarkable amount of traveling. In a short period of time, Anas made several trips to the Middle East, and also spent time in Europe and Latin America, studying languages and world politics. This stunning, troubadour-like experience seeped into her music, and she became adept at fusing her passion for literature and journalism in her lyrics.

With a clutch of quiet, ambitious songs in her arsenal, Mitchell recorded her now out-of-print debut, The Song They Sang When Rome Fell (2002), in a single afternoon in Austin, Texas. It was in Texas that Anas discovered the Kerrville Folk Festival, which honored her with the prestigious New Folk award in 2003. Soon thereafter, with the help of Michael Chorney and Chicago-based Waterbug Records, Anas released her second album, Hymns For The Exiled, in 2004. The stirring collection of guitar and voice cemented Mitchell's status as a folksinger to watch, and the record eventually reached the ears of Ani DiFranco, whose fusion of personal and political themes was a formative influence on a teenaged Mitchell. After seeing a few of Anas's captivating concerts, DiFranco signed the artist to her own independent label, Righteous Babe Records.

"If you knew what Ani DiFranco meant to me as a young woman and a young songwriter ... well, I was simultaneously elated and in total disbelief," Mitchell told a Vermont reporter after joining the RBRrrmy. "It seemed too good to be true."

The same can be said about Mitchell's Righteous Babe debut, The Brightness, released February 13, 2007. During the recording process, Anas lived above the studio, which was built into an old Vermont gristmill. She could wake up, shake the sleep out of her eyes and record tracks in her pajamas, resulting in a decidedly intimate listening experience. Spilling over with worldly metaphors, intense emotions and unshakeable reverence to the art of song, The Brightness shimmers with creative spark.

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September, 2008 - 2008