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Zoe Mulford: News

Music My Mother Wouldn't Like - November 14, 2017

On November 10, Bruce Swan hosted a special live show on WPKN (Bridgeport, CT) with a selection of artists from the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference. You can listen to the archived show until November 24. Bruce's show is called "Music My Mother Wouldn't Like." Bruce's mother might not like it - but mine would!

Joan Baez - October 17, 2017

For years, people have told me I remind them of Joan Baez. This is not an accident, and I don't think it's just the hair. Hers has always been one of the defining voices of folk music for me, and she's one of the artists I was listening to when I was first learning to play the guitar and deciding what kinds of sounds I wanted to make.

Last week, I got an email from her manager.

Joan Baez heard my song "The President Sang Amazing Grace" on the radio and chose to cover it on her upcoming album. She's been singing it at a string of concerts benefitting the UNHCR and the Jesuit Refugee Service.

"Baez inspired a standing ovation from the crowd with her powerful acoustic version of Zoe Mulford's "The President Sang Amazing Grace.""

I am amazed and honored by this ... and if only one of my songs ever reaches a larger audience, I'm glad it's this one.

My First Review in Dutch - Translated - September 19, 2017

"Small Brown Birds" Review from - February 2017

Review by Dani Heyvaert, translated by Peter van Zeijl

 TransAtlantic singersongwriter. That's the description the American Zoe Mulford gives herself in her profile. I have the feeling she couldn't have put it any better. With this record Zoe brings her fifth CD into this world. In the past she has deserved her place in the classic surroundings of Kerville and Falcon Ridge, meaning that she has been recognized by the people from those organisations as one of the artists capable of transforming a seemingly ordinary occasion into a song. Zoe accompanies herself on guitar and clawhammer banjo while she lets her heavenly voice do the bigger work and, where needed, draws upon on American and British musicians.

This last the result of her residing in the UK for the past few years. As things go in the world of musicians they do go out from time to time meeting other artists. One of them is violinist and mandolin player Tom Kitching, a man who caresses the strings of the violin as if he has inherited his gift directly from Dave Swarbrick. His contribution to the record is rather crucial because he makes his violin dance, reminisce and weep, adding a lot to the vibe of this record. I've experienced after many a listening that this CD at it's base is a enormously varied one, although it's primarily through Zoe's observation skills combined with her songwriting skills which makes up the backbone of this CD.

The opening is in a pure Dylan-style, with “Answer the Knock at the Door”. A song calling out in support of communal living and not to focus on the contradictions that separate us from one and another. The following song “Back Door Key” is a romantic reminiscence, whilst with “February Thunder” the melodies are mixed with the Old-Time classic “Frosty Morning.” In “One Damn Thing,” the tempo is driven by a fine duel between fiddle and mandolin.

Pat Wictor, of Brother Sun, sings nice harmonies on “The Queen of Skye”, a lullaby written by Jack Herrick from The Red Clay Ramblers, and returns with “Speak True”, for me THE track of the CD, with its duo of fiddle and blues harmonica. I also do have to mention “The President Sang Amazing Grace," a song about the 2015 shooting in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The image of (now) ex-president Obama bringing a salute to the victims of that shooting delivers a totally new meaning after the inauguration of the new president. The former one had empathy and spoke from the heart whilst the new one seem to lack both a heart and brains. Zoe successfully risks to bring a cover of one of the best ever Beatle songs: “Blackbird” gets draped with a clawhammer cloth which seems to fit the song like a bespoke suit.

The instrumental title song is a pure British approach, while “Zillionnaire” draws on the approach by Malvina Reynolds and makes fun of the “1%”, those upper-upperclass suckers, who can't be happy anymore with their milionaire status that nowadays is being achieved by too many mediocre people. The closing song is the sing-a-long “Won’t You Come In” into which the perfect clear voice of Zoe pumps just enough beauty to make you a happy person. This is a spring-song injected with a load of freshness thru the choir.

All in all this is a beautiful record which is certainly not meant to be ironic. The world today is in my opinion all too often dominated by 'Facebook- and Twittershouters', who primarily love to hear themselves. A bath of overwhelming beauty like Zoe offers us is a true revelation and forms a nice counter balance to the ugliness where some love to dwell. A fine record, that's for sure!

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