Folk Alley Presents: Della Mae Celia Woodsmith of Grammy-nominated string band Della Mae comes from a family that loves a poem — "The Hound Of Heaven." Watch the group perform a song it inspired at Ohio's Folk Alley.
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Folk Alley Presents: Della Mae

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.