Michele Fay Band
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Michele Fay Band

Burlington, Vermont, United States | INDIE

Burlington, Vermont, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Folk


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"The Michele Fay Band: Album Review"

Vermont has long been known as a hotbed of traditional folk and bluegrass music. Must be all them pretty mountains. Though relatively new to the fold, Ripton’s Michele Fay Band prove a welcome addition with their debut full-length album.
The disc opens with “Take It or Leave It,” a bouncy little tune featuring nifty acoustic guitar and mandolin interplay between Fay and husband Tim Price, respectively. It’s a great intro tune, showcasing Fay’s sturdy talents as a folk songwriter...The following track, “Street of the Widow,” is easily the album’s strongest cut. Fay has a keen appreciation of Vermont history, often accompanied by deft lyrical turns and gripping imagery. Here, she describes a period of Barre’s not-too-distant-past in which Granite City widows of deceased immigrant quarry workers opened boarding houses to make ends meet. The song offers Fay’s most engaging melodic work and a fine turn from Price on acoustic guitar.
Similarly, “On the Orphan Train” displays the songwriter’s impressive storytelling abilities, recalling a period of early 20th-century American history when homeless children were shipped from larger cities and sent to rural areas to work as farmhands, including Vermont. Again, Fay’s writing is handsomely effective...
The album closes with a string of three rock-solid, original folk tunes. “The Ties That Bind” is a pleasing bluegrass-y ditty. “Bring Them Home,” the obligatory antiwar cut, is pretty and heartfelt. Album closer “What Were You Thinking” is upbeat and cheeky, in a wholesome, folksy sort of way. It’s a fine finale.
All in all,"The Michele Fay Band" is a solid debut from a talented writer with highly capable musical gifts.

- Seven Days Magazine

"Travelin' That Road cd review"

On the Ripton-based quartet’s recently released follow-up, Travelin’ That Road, Fay and company sand away many of the blemishes from that first recording with a fine grit and light touch. The result is a sophomore effort that, while noticeably more polished, retains an appealing, down-home charm. The record comprises a cozy mix of originals, covers and traditionals that, with few exceptions, are woven seamlessly together. “Hold on to Your Golden Crown” leads off, reintroducing Fay as a sturdy songwriter. “When you’re doubting all that you done, / When you’re blinded by the sun, / Feel a victim of circumstance, / You deserve to dance,” she sings in her familiar, airy croon. “Addie Card” marks Fay’s most impressive songwriting effort. Fay takes no small amount of inspiration from her Vermont surroundings. Here, she uses her rural backdrop to chilling effect, spinning a gritty folk tale of young love and hard living in an old mill town. Call it Green Mountain gothic. “Old Love” is a touching ballad, celebrating the profound bond formed through a lifetime spent in love with one person. It’s hard not to swoon as Fay and Allen sing in dovetail harmony, “If there ever comes a time / When your hand is not in mine / It will only be because / We have reached the oldest love.”
Speaking of Fay and Allen, their a cappella rendition of “Across the Blue Mountains” is a stunner. The title track brings Travelin’ That Road to its humble, homespun conclusion, a fitting end to a humble, homespun gem.

- Seven Days Magazine

"The Michele Fay Band: These Working Hands"

You could easily mistake the music of the Michele Fay Band for bluegrass. But a closer listen reveals that this music is something else again. It has a smoothness not found in bluegrass. And These Working Hands has a subject matter seldom found in bluegrass. The song concerns the plight of a Mexican migrant worker in the United States, and Michele Fay, like Woody Guthrie before her, reminds us that these are real people. This one has an unusual arrangement, with the accordion being a particular surprise. Michele Fay is from Vermont, and the music is bluegrass’ northern cousin…the quality of the performance puts it over.

- http://oliverdiplace.blogspot.com

"Michele Fay and Friends Make a Beautiful Blend"

Michele Fay's second album, "Travelin' That Road." shows a maturing singer-songwriter-band leader whose music is very enjoyable...the band's sound is subdued, and smooth as a dollop of cream in your morning coffee. What is especially appealing on this album is the tightness of the ensemble and the well-conceived vocal harmonies. Fay is a good rhythm guitarist and banjoist and Santosusso keeps a solid, if understated, beat on the big fiddle. Allen is a really fine contra dance fiddler, well-known in the Northeast and Florida, who takes on a different instrumental role in this band adding fiddle parts that fill in the spaces between vocals. She is also a fine backup singer adding depth and a somewhat lower vocal range to Fay's higher pitched leads. Price is the main melodic instrumentalist in the band. His work on mandolin and guitar is subtle and constrained which seems just right for this tight ensemble. The material here will appeal to listeners who like acoustic band music and songs with a Vermont-flavored lyric content. The album starts off with the gospel/swing-flavored "Hold On to Your Golden Crown," a song that could enter the world of gospel standards. I'd like to hear the Bluegrass Gospel Project do this one as well. Fay has a knack for writing songs that are heartfelt without being too self-conscious. On track two, "Simple Life," she writes: "Bring me the simple life we used to know, years ago/ There was time to drop a line into that shiny blue/ Take me out for a stroll down the lane in the rain/ When the simple life was all we knew" – a sentiment we might all have in these difficult times. Fay writes about her hometown track four's "Rutland Town" in a remembrance of times past. She peers into the life of a mill worker in "Addie Card" from Pownall. Her assessment of love rings correct in "Old Love," where she writes: "Old love, it is so true/ And young loves, they have no clue." Fay's social sensibilities find a place in "These Working Hands" about Mexican migrant workers in Vermont. Our state has been home to a goodly number of Mexican dairy hands who fulfill a farm job many "nortenos" no longer want to do. Throughout this album, the music flows in a serious yet relaxed manner. These musicians seem to understand their strengths and limitations and aren't trying to go beyond their very comfortable groove. For this writer, however, the most powerful song on the album was the old Appalachian standard "Across the Blue Mountains" sung as an a cappella duo by Fay and Allen. Their voices blend beautifully and the sound of two women's voices reminds one that a successful musical experience need not be complicated. If The Michele Fay Band is as good live as on a recording, this would be a quartet well worth going to hear.

By ART EDELSTEIN Arts Correspondent - Published: March 19, 2010 - The Barre Montpelier Times Argus


The Michele Fay Band



The Michele Fay Band is a mix of original, traditional, and bluegrass influenced music with rich female harmonies. Four musicians on strings tie together homegrown songs, fiddle tunes, and rootsy standards. Michele sings with acoustic guitar and banjo, her husband Tim Price joins in on mandolin, acoustic guitar and electric guitar, Lausanne Allen adds fiddle, whistle, and vocal harmonies, and Michael Santosusso drives the beat on upright bass.

Band Members