Anaïs Mitchell, the esteemed singer-songwriter whose Broadway smash Hadestown won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is joined by Bonny Light Horseman, a folk supergroup trio comprised of Anaïs, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman for a show at Strathmore Music Center on Friday, Feb. 11!
As funny as it may sound, Anaïs Mitchell has spent the past 15 years in some kind of hell. OK, not actual hell, but the multi-faceted world of Hadestown, a musical project she began in Vermont in 2006 that has grown into a Tony- and Grammy-award-winning Broadway phenomenon with touring editions now delighting audiences as far away as South Korea.
“I experienced so much joy working on Hadestown, but it just kept ramping up and up and requiring more and more attention,” Mitchell said. “I had to become so single-minded and really put blinders on to my other creative life.”
As it did for many artists, the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly offered Anaïs a blank slate to reconnect with her own music. The result is a new self-titled album made with close collaborators from Bon Iver, The National, and her own band Bonny Light Horseman, Mitchell’s first collection of all-new material under her own name since 2012’s Young Man in America.
Produced by Bonny Light Horseman bandmate Josh Kaufman, the album proceeds to chronicle Mitchell’s reconnection with the Vermont roots that have been so formative in her life and music. For example, “Bright Star” finds her making peace with the idea of being at peace in the familiar setting of her grandparents’ house.
Watch the official music video for “Bright Star” by Anaïs Mitchell on YouTube:
Mitchell will debut the new material during various headline tours in the US and Europe in 2022, at which she’ll be accompanied by players from the album. On stage, she can’t wait to further hone the sights, sounds, and scenes that bring the songs to such vivid life.
“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to write in the voice of other characters, especially with Hadestown. It’s fun for me, but these songs are not that,” Anaïs said. “Weirdly, they’re all me. The narrator is me. That’s why it felt right to self-title the album. It felt like after so many years of working on telling other stories, now here are some of mine.”
Bonny Light Horseman includes Mitchell, Johnson (best known for his project Fruit Bats and stints with The Shins), and Kaufman (instrumentalist and producer known for his work with Hiss Golden Messenger, Bob Weir, The National).
W/ Bonny Light Horseman
Strathmore Music Center
Friday, Feb. 11
Show @ 8pm