Della Mae
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Della Mae

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic

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Music

Press


"Della Mae Recommended Sunday 2.21"

Sunday 2.21 Raleigh- Della Mae

Berkeley Cafe—"Lay off of my man if you don't want to go to fist city," the upbeat "Fist City" warns a girl with too wide of a gaze. Smiling, Della Mae takes control. The female bluegrass quintet from Boston plays with the exuberance of youth and the confidence of experience. Laura Cortese's vocals twang with tension, ready to let loose on lovers and losers alike. The band boasts talent like national fiddle champion Kimber Ludiker, whose bowing is deep, strong, and clear. Della Mae follows local bluegrass act The Hotwires, an all-male outfit of earthier tone —a nice contrast to the main event. Pay $10 at 7 p.m., and see www.berkeleycafe.net. —Andrew Ritchey - Indy Weekly


"Country Picks"

Country Picks

BY JACK BERNHARDT - CORRESPONDENT

It's no longer unusual to see women picking the tunes that Bill Monroe and his generation made standards of male-centered bluegrass. Over the years, Laurie Lewis, Alison Krauss, Claire Lynch and other talented women have led their own bands, creating some of the most memorable music of the modern age. While those artists stand on stage supported by guy pickers, Della Mae is an all-estrogen, Boston-based quintet featuring national fiddle champion Kimber Ludiker and a repertoire that blends the spirit of the pioneers with the zest of their generation. Hear for yourself Sunday, when Della Mae plays The Berkeley Cafe. - The News & Observer


"Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival"

"With their instumental virtuosity, seamless harmonies and their charming stage presence, Della Mae earned a three day booking at Grey Fox during their first year together as a band. I rarely book a young band for multiple days at Grey Fox but Della Mae possesses so much talent, we couldn't possibly present them to our fans for just one day." -Chuck Wentworth, Grey Fox Talent Coordinator
- Chuck Wentworth, Grey Fox Talent Coordinator


"Bluegrass belles, Della Mae gaining momentum"

From songs that explore independence and urban adventure to timeless themes of love and loss, Della Mae brings acoustic grit and twang to town with no apologies.

Della Mae features the reigning National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker, powerhouse vocalist and songwriter Laura Cortese, seasoned bassist Amanda Kowalski, accomplished guitarist Avril Smith and the driving banjo of Grace Van’t Hof. Formed during the Fall 2009 in Boston, Della Mae was born from a yearning for a traditional bluegrass sound in the heart of New England.

In July of the previous summer Avril, Amanda, and Kimber had the opportunity to spend a week playing together at the Mount Shasta Fiddle Camp. During that time together the three women enthusiastically made a pact to continue their musical relationship. Upon hearing the idea of a female-driven bluegrass band, Laura jumped in, bringing a refreshing vocal style and a healthy handful of exciting unrecorded material. Grace was brought on board to deliver the traditional banjo style that grounds the band.

Inspired by great American performers and songwriters like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Martin, the Carter Family and Loretta Lynn, Della Mae strives to create music that tells a story while delivering a punch. Though distinctly bluegrass, their unique sound is the culmination of five diverse musical backgrounds.

From an early age Kimber excelled at Texas-style fiddling, she went on to win multiple fiddle championships including the Washington State Championship, Colorado State Championship and the Grand National Fiddle Championship. She has performed with Mark O’Conner, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, and Hanneke Cassel and is considered a pillar in the next-generation fiddle scene.

Like Kimber, Avril began playing during early childhood. Avril is as capable on a Tele as she is on a Martin and has twice been the recipient of the Washington Area Music Association’s top honors for Best Contemporary Folk Instrumentalist. Both Grace and Amanda share a dual background in classical music and traditional bluegrass.

Grace built her first banjo at age fifteen and has since been in love with Bluegrass music. She received multiple scholarships to attend East Tennessee State University’s prestigious Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program. As both a banjo player and vocalist, Grace has toured throughout the United States and Europe, including performances at MerleFest, the Ulster American Folk Festival (Omagh, Ireland) and the International Folkdance Festival (Palma De Mallorca, Spain).

With a background in Scottish music, Quebecois, and American song, Laura is a musical force. She has been featured at Madison Square Garden with Patterson Hood (Drive By Truckers) and Michael Franti (Spearhead) as part of Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration. Laura has also performed to a sold out Carnegie Hall with indie rockers Band of Horses.

In the words of Mike Marshall, “These gals can get down and aren’t messing around.” Della Mae’s musical style seamlessly blends years of experience with traditional mountain music and modern singer-songwriter sensibilities. With energetic live performances and award-winning instrumental abilities, the five women of Della Mae are turning heads. - Bluegrass Journal


"SPPS Folk Alliance Showcase: 02.18.10"

Quoting Keith: “They dazzled a standing-room only audience with a blend of delicate and boisterous arrangements.” - The Steam Powered Preservation Society


"Della Mae at the Berkeley Cafe- Review"

My friend Jamie told me about Della Mae an all female bluegrass band that was playing at the Berkeley Cafe Sunday Febuary 21.
I had heard of them but I have never had the chance to see them live.
Let me tell you like a friend this is a talented bunch of ladies. They came on strong right from the get go and pure shelled down the corn until the last song. They covered a few songs that I recognized as well as some original numbers, all done excellent. Vocal responsibility was shared between Laura Cortese (who sang the majority of vocals and played the fiddle) and Grace Van’t Hof (also playing a mean banjo), their styles contrasted nicely.
The acoustic guitar was played by Avril Smith and fiddle along with some comic relief was Kimber Ludiker. Amanda Kowalski bent the strings on the doghouse bass. Della Mae had a good stage presence and played to the crowd. As well as some fine music they also shared a few interesting stories of their travels.
The string instruments blended excellent with the vocals and the instrumentals were on time. Della Mae tours all over the country and I sure was glad they made a stop in Raleigh. Nice work ladies, I look forward to seeing you again soon. - Hunter's Blog- Local Music through a Canon lens


"Laura Cortese"

Ambition often follows talent, and Laura Cortese has an embarrassment of both. Her open-armed approach to her art reveals a determination to spread the word about folk music and dance without watering down their distinctiveness.
- John Wenzel~The Denver Post - The Denver Post


"Kimber Ludiker"

"It has been a long time coming that you would have a 'woman' who can burn the pants off everyone at a Texas fiddle contest AND sit just as comfortably in an Irish, bluegrass, Swedish or swing jam. Kimber Ludiker represents this new ideal of a truly well-rounded musician with deep roots and a wide open mind. Pretty darn sweet mandola playing too, I might add." - Mike Marshall


"The Coffee Gallery Backstage"

"Laura is a natural born headliner, a crowd pleaser that helps a club establish a reputation for being THE place to be for an unadulterated good time." - Bob Stane


"Grace Van't Hof Review"

"Van’t Hof’s locomotive licks jolt their version of the traditional tune “Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound.”... also boasts acoustic interplay that would make Garcia & Grisman proud. Van’t Hof composition “I’ll Get It Myself,” is a mix of radio-ghost vocals and modern lyrics."
-Matt Wake (April 29, 2009) - Greenville Metromix


Discography

Acoustic EP, released July 15th, 2010. Recorded by Charlie Rose @ Old South Home Studios in Boston, MA. Mixed & Mastered by Erick Jaskowiak in Nashville, TN.

1. Bowling Green
2. Head Over Heels
3. Blues Have Got Me Down
4. Each Night I Tried
5. In The Pines
6. Unwanted Love
7. Fist City

Photos

Bio

From songs that explore independence and urban adventure to timeless themes of love and loss, Della Mae brings acoustic grit and twang to town with no apologies.

Della Mae features the reigning National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker, impeccable mandolinist Jenni Lynn Gardner, seasoned bassist Amanda Kowalski, accomplished guitarist Avril Smith and the driving banjo of Grace Van’t Hof. Formed during the Fall 2009 in Boston, Della Mae was born from a yearning for a traditional bluegrass sound in the heart of New England. Della Mae strives to create music that tells a story while delivering a punch.

From an early age Kimber excelled at Texas-style fiddling, she went on to win multiple fiddle championships including the Washington State Championship, Colorado State Championship and the Grand National Fiddle Championship. She has performed with Mark O’Conner, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, and Hanneke Cassel and is considered a pillar in the next-generation fiddle scene.

Like Kimber, Avril began playing during early childhood. Avril is as capable on a Tele as she is on a Martin and has twice been the recipient of the Washington Area Music Association’s top honors for Best Contemporary Folk Instrumentalist.

Both Grace and Amanda share a dual background in classical music and traditional bluegrass. Amanda has recorded and performed with many notable artists including Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Roland White, Darol Anger and Abigail Washburn. From the Sydney Opera House to the Grand Old Opry, Amanda has performed on stages worldwide.

Grace built her first banjo at age fifteen and has since been in love with Bluegrass music. She received multiple scholarships to attend East Tennessee State University’s prestigious Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program. As both a banjo player and vocalist, Grace has toured throughout the United States and Europe, including performances at MerleFest, the Ulster American Folk Festival (Omagh, Ireland) and the International Folkdance Festival (Palma De Mallorca, Spain).

Jenni began playing with her family at local bluegrass concerts, church, and school. A sought after session musician, songwriter, and sidewoman, Jenni has performed everywhere from the Cornish Bluegrass Festival (Newquay, England) to the Grand Ole Opry. She toured extensively with 2007 IBMA Male Vocalist of the year, Bradley Walker, and was part of the 2009 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year, "Proud to be a Daughter of Bluegrass".

Della Mae’s musical style seamlessly blends years of experience with traditional mountain music and modern singer-songwriter sensibilities. With energetic live performances and award-winning instrumental abilities, the five women of Della Mae are turning heads.

In the words of Mike Marshall, “These gals can get down and aren’t messing around.”

For More Information: http://www.heyheydellamae.com/ and
http://www.myspace.com/dellamaeband