A set by American songwriter Zoe Mulford is like a small volume of short stories - evocative, beautifully crafted, and endlessly varied. Whether her starting-point is Franklin’s doomed polar expedition or the neglected contents of her own refrigerator, her vivid storytelling and down-to-earth humor take listeners on an enjoyable journey. Backing her clear voice with guitar or claw-hammer banjo, she draws on the traditional music of the US and the British Isles to make sense of modern life. She was raised near Philadelphia but now lives in Manchester, England and plays on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I don't usually like folk music, but that underwear song is pretty good.”
—patron, Taliano's Restaurant, Takoma Park, MD
2011 - "Answer the Knock at the Door" - Folk-DJ Top 10, December 2011
2011 - Formal Showcase Artist, Folk Alliance Regional Midwest Conference (FARM)
2010 - “The Ace of Spades” published in Sing Out! Magazine , Spring 2010
2009 - Formal Showcase Artist, Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA)
2008 - Finalist, Grassy Hill New Folk Competition, Kerrville Folk Festival
2007 - Emerging Artist Showcase, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
2006 - “Roadside Saints” nominated for Song, Album, and Songwriter of the Year by the Washington Area Music Association
Zoe Mulford - vocal, guitar, banjo
Small ensemble (upright bass, fiddle +/- percussion) available by special arrangement.
"Coyote Wings" (LP, 2013)
Azalea City Recordings
Folk-DJ #12 Album, March 2013
"Pocket Fulla Quarters" (single, 2012)
"Answer the Knock at the Door" (single, 2011)
on Hudson Harding "Happy Holidays #6" Sampler
Folk-DJ Top 10 Song December, 2011
"Night is a Woman" (single, 2011)
Song by John Gorka
on Azalea City Recordings "Azalea Sampler 4"
"The January Man"(single, 2010)
Song by Dave Goulder
on Hudson Harding "Happy Holidays #5" Sampler
"Bonfires" (LP, 2009)
US release October 2009 on Azalea City Recordings
"Open Water" (single, 2009)
on Azalea City Recordings "Azalea Sampler 3 - Songs for a Changing World"
"Welcome in Another Year" (single, 2006)
on Hudson Harding "Happy Holidays #1" Sampler
"Roadside Saints" (LP, 2006)
Produced by John Jennings
Azalea City Recordings ACCD-0604
"Traveling Moon" (LP, 2004)
Azalea City Recordings ACCD-0406
Let's Talk (WFMT demo)
Humboldt County (WFMT demo)
The American Wake
The Wind & Rain
Red Rocking Chair
All of the Songs Were Road Songs
A magical bond forged between two distinguished branches of folk music
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‘Bonfires’ from Zoe Mulford is due for release in the UK this summer, and if you don’t already know ...‘Bonfires’ from Zoe Mulford is due for release in the UK this summer, and if you don’t already know her music trust me you will love it. A Philadelphia-raised American now living in Manchester, her music effortlessly mingles the finest of both cultures. There’s an eminently listenable catchy American edge to her voice combined with an English folk delivery that forges a magical bond between two distinguished branches of folk music. And by way of a bonus Zoe adds a mean clawhammer banjo (she also plays guitar, piano and melodica).
bonfires‘Open Water’ is Zoe’s take on the familiar story of Franklin’s futile search for the North-West passage. The song imagines a survivor from the expedition and then comes bang up-to-date with its poignant ending – a great tale with an emotive message. There’s a superb banjo-driven version of ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’ that sounds it exactly how it should – watch out Mr Thomson, this adaptation will give you a run for your money. Written with precise care, ‘Just Before I Go’ delves to discover some hard-to-find black humour in a break-up. It’s a note left by a patience-drained lover - a spot on confirmation of getting your own back. Zoe displays her narrative and musical craftwork once more in ‘All of the Songs were Road Songs’ – her tribute to the songwriter’s ability to take the audience anywhere they want to go.
Taking a step into the English tradition, Zoe tells the story of ‘The Wind and Rain’ with edgy banjo, dancing violin and that unique voice; a fine take on a familiar song. Likewise ‘She Moved Through the Fair’ is another gentle brush with tradition; Irish this time. And just to prove that she can write and sing traditional a’capella there’s ‘The Wise Maid’ - again with Zoe’s trade mark lyrical twist at the end. ‘Welcome in Another Year’ is the title song and tells of New Year bonfires across the world.
Then there’s the humbling, ‘One Day the Sun’s Gonna Shine’ a simple beautiful song that touches your soul. A tale of homeless yearning and aching for a better life, and whether you’re someone that talks to a dog or not, it’s certain to prompt tear-filled eyes.
There’s a wealth of talent joining Zoe on ‘Bonfires’ - Tom Fairbairn (violin, viola) Al Parrish (upright bass) and Cheryl Prashker (percussion). On ‘Just Before I Go’ there’s Andrew Butler (banjo ukulele, washboard, harmonica) Dave Carden (upright bass) and John McKay (guitar, mandolin). And on ‘One Day the Sun’s Gonna Shine’ there’s the vocal skills of John Condy, Carl Corbett, Karen Dyson, Cockney Eric, Michelle Holding, Lorelei Loveridge and Bijan Parsia.
This album holds seven subtly crafted self-penned songs, three traditional tunes and one superb cover, and not one weak link. Slide some freshness and vitality into your folk music collection; get yourself a copy of ‘Bonfires’ it will not disappoint.
For Folk’s Sake at Cup
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First on-stage is troubadour Zoe Mulford. Her short stories and striking observations are a delight ...First on-stage is troubadour Zoe Mulford. Her short stories and striking observations are a delight - as are her banjo and guitar driven, melodically sung narratives.
- James Sutherland
Sale Folk Club Newsletter
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Finally the top of the milk, as they say, came in the form of Zoe Mulford who absolutely delighted u...Finally the top of the milk, as they say, came in the form of Zoe Mulford who absolutely delighted us with the finest version of Richard Thompson's Vincent Black Lightening 1952 we have ever heard accompanied by her exquisitely played banjo. The traditional Red Rocking Chair came next and a lyrical version of Goodnight Irene had us shouting for more.
- Don & Heather Davies
There are no upcoming dates at this time.