Favorite Sessions

Folk Alley Presents: Della Maefolkalley

The relationship between songs and poetry is often symbiotic, with some songwriters going so far as to lift entire verses from poems. Della Mae musician Celia Woodsmith discovered an intergenerational connection between her family and the poem "The Hound Of Heaven" by Francis Thompson. Her grandfather was so struck by it that he took to reading it to his children. Decades later, Woodsmith's mother recalled these readings in an essay that inspired Woodsmith to take up the family tradition, writing a song based on the essay for her Grammy-nominated string band Della Mae. The result — an arresting, defiant tune about staring down death and finding hope in the face of fear — features stellar vocal harmonies and a spirited solo from fiddler Kimber Ludiker.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Tift Merritt Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Tift Merritt On Mountain Stage

The alt-country singer-songwriter plays old and new material, both solo and with the house band.

Listen Loading… 25:52
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/465460741/465461098" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Nels Cline and Julian Lage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Nels Cline And Julian Lage On Mountain Stage

The genre-straddling star guitarists perform together with fluidity, precision and grace.

Listen Loading… 23:36
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/463034184/463037835" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Darlingside. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Darlingside On Mountain Stage

Hear from the Massachusetts folk-pop band, which made host Larry Groce's favorite song of 2015.

Listen Loading… 20:54
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/461593577/461597052" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Mavericks perform at the 2015 Americana Music Awards. High Five Entertainment hide caption

toggle caption High Five Entertainment

Music

The Mavericks, 'Pardon Me'

XPN

The band has long challenged musical boundaries. It performs at the Americana Music Honors & Awards.

Buffy Saint-Marie performs her song "Universal Soldier" at the 2015 Americana Music Awards. High Five Entertainment hide caption

toggle caption High Five Entertainment

Music

Buffy Sainte-Marie, 'Universal Soldier'

XPN

A cultural icon performs her classic pacifist anthem solo at the Americana Music Honors & Awards.

Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor