Talaria is a young up and coming brother-sister folk duo. They perform mainly original songs by both Justine and Eric and also love to write songs together! They will be making the rounds through the Boston folk scene this year so keep your eyes and ears out for them!


“Another rising-star moment came from 20 year-old Justine McDonald, appearing with her brother, Eric, in the duo they call Talaria. She sang a beautiful coming-of-age song, confronting the cynicism of maturity with
an almost defiant innocence.” Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

Talaria was born during the summer of 2004, when Ellen Schmidt asked siblings Justine and Eric McDonald to share a feature at her open mike. The idea was to split the time as separate acts, but Justine and Eric decided to try something they hadn't tried since they were tikes: playing together. Things clicked, and the duo's sound emerged. With smart sibling harmonies, hard-driving folk-pop originals, and a healthy respect for traditional folk forms, the duo is poised to join the ranks of family folk ensembles like Disappear Fear and The Nields. Since forming, the duo has gone on to open for Brian Webb at the Labyrinth Coffeehouse and has performed at venues such as Club Passim in Cambridge, Springstep Center for the Arts in Medford, the Emerson Umbrella in Concord, and The Nameless Coffeehouse also in Cambridge. Guitarist and vocalist Justine brings her pensive, powerful tunes to the group, while Eric (guitar, mandolin, and vocals) offers infectious, upbeat, bluegrass-influenced originals.

Justine McDonald

"The depth of talent and potential in this young woman is simply staggering. I am absolutely sure that she is going to be very famous." -- Singer-songwriter Don White

21-year-old singer-songwriter Justine has been playing in the Boston area since she was fifteen. She was the youngest performer ever to be featured at the Center for Arts in Natick open mike. She has also been featured at the Colonial Inn and the Nameless Coffeehouse, and opened for Oen Kennedy and Don White.

Eric McDonald

"To Eric, who shreds." -- Tracy Grammer, signing a copy of her EP for Eric after hearing his solo performance of Dave Carter's "Liza Jane."

19-year-old Eric is rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist for Defenestrated, a semifinalist in the 2004 WBCN Battle of the High School Bands. He also sings and plays mando for teen bluegrass ensemble Jaded Mandolin and backs local songwriters Jess Yoakum and Patty Keough. Eric learned a lot of what he knows from being a longtime member of the intergenerational chorus The Family Folk Chorale, which performed in the fall of 2004 with Tracy Grammer.



Written By: Justine McDonald


When I look at you, do I see deeper than your eyes
Or am I just abiding by the rules of my superiors
Can I see past the connotations that surround you
Oh I know I’m older now, but I still want to be

CHORUS: Like a wildflower, growing on a curbside
It finds a way to survive
Like a bird with broken wings
But it still sings

Can I accept that I’m a product of society
And still be pure
Can I let go of all this hate and find a different cure
Can I paint the sky a perfect color blue
Oh I know I’m older now, but I still want to be


I wish I was oblivious
I wish I was carefree
I wish I was blind to it all
I wish that I was cagey
Oh forgive me for my struggles, I have to be what I am
Oh I fight every day just to stay close to land


Oh I know I’m older now, but I still want to be



Pieces - 2007*
Demo - 2005


Set List

Talaria plays mostly a mix of Justine and Eric's original songs and every so often they throw a cover in there for you guys! Their sets always keep the audience engaged with tunes that vary from Justine's soothing ballads to the powerful co-written songs of Justine and Eric that always seem to include a driving rhythm and piercing sibling harmonies.