Favorite Sessions

Alialujah Choir: Bowler Hats And Harmoniesopbmusic.org

It began with a song. The roots of Portland's Alialujah Choir go back to Adam Selzer and Adam Shearer's collaboration on an all-Portland charity compilation, (D)early Departed. It seemed a natural choice to pair the Adams, the former known for his work as a producer at Type Foundry studios and as part of the band Norfolk & Western; the latter the affable and increasingly visible frontman of the local band Weinland. "A House, A Home" was the result — a song that builds a fictionalized doomed romance into the real-life historical backdrop of Dr. James Hawthorne's psychiatric hospital (and makes for a stunning video, which opbmusic recently premiered).

Selzer and Shearer felt like they were on to something in the recording's aftermath, and a late-night text message or two later, the Alialujah Choir was born, with the piano and vocals of Alia Farah (a sometime member of Weinland) rounding out the trio. They set about establishing what might be called rules of creative conduct for the project — the first being that it remain enjoyable, the second being that it's all about the voices. You'll notice the sparse nature of the arrangements, which purposely throw the trio's harmonies into the spotlight. It's a rare moment on the record when you'll hear a lone voice singing.

We joined the Alialujah Choir in the same Type Foundry studio space where its members recorded their album. There, they perform live versions of the songs, and also discuss the specifics of their formation, the reasoning behind their "rules," and their extremely long-term plan moving forward.

Set List
  • "Looking For A Gesture"
  • "Way Too Soon"
  • "A House, A Home"
  • "Bones Crackin' In"
Credits
  • Nate Sjol, cameras and video production
  • Dave Christensen, cameras and video production
  • Jarratt Taylor, cameras
[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

The New York-based sibling duo The Lords of Liechtenstein. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

The Lords Of Liechtenstein On Mountain Stage

The Rauchwerk brothers bring their quirky, folky singing and songwriting to Mountain Stage in West Virginia.

Lords of Liechtenstein on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/534992085/535370783" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn perform bluegrass and Mandarin folk music for Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn On Mountain Stage

The First Family of the Banjo performs bluegrass and Mandarin folk music live in Charleston, W.Va.

Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532957683/532964363" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sarah Louise and Sally Anne Morgan. Judy Henson/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Judy Henson/Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

House And Land Transform An Old Hymn's Plea Into Rapture

The 12-string guitarist Sarah Louise and fiddler Sally Anne Morgan braid the natural connection between traditional Appalachian folk music and modern composition.

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill perform live on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Martin Hayes And Dennis Cahill On Mountain Stage

Hear the Irish instrumental duo perform a set of jigs, reels and airs live in West Virginia.

Martin Hayes And Dennis Cahill On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/529746282/529749347" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

T Sisters perform on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

T Sisters On Mountain Stage

The Oakland sibling trio focuses on grooving bluegrass and smooth, close-knit harmonies. Hear a live set recorded in Marietta, Ohio.

The T Sisters On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528775924/528778039" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Daniel Norgren (right) performs with drummer Erik Berndtsson and bassist Anders Grahn on the Woods Stage at Pickathon 2016. Liam Gillies/Courtesy of Pickathon hide caption

toggle caption Liam Gillies/Courtesy of Pickathon

Favorite Sessions

Watch Daniel Norgren Play 'People Are Good' Live At Pickathon

opbmusic.org

The Swedish folk-rock singer made his U.S. debut at Pickathon 2016, playing an upright piano for this Woods Stage performance.

Back To Top