This fall Public Records presents a three part series, FOLKSTORM, inspired by co-partner and Program Director, Francis Harris’ off-kilter PRTV — PRs pandemic-time video programming — show by the same name. The series explores the edges of the folk genre, reinterpreting the sound for a generation not so easily lured by definitions but attuned more directly to the counter cultural spirit the movement has invoked for decades.
For our final installment of the series, we take a walk on the wilder side of the genre, welcoming two artists who color far outside the lines of folk. Opening the evening is folklorist, researcher and performer Derek Piotr, whose work focuses primarily on the human voice. Covering the practices of fieldwork, vocal performance, preservation and autoethnography, Piotr is concerned with tenderness, fragility, beauty and brutality which bleeds through his productions with heartfelt ardor. His work has been supported by the North Carolina Folklife Institute, The Traditional Song Forum and The Danbury Cultural Commission, and has featured on UK folk label Death is Not the End, as well as the BBC. Following is queer poet and musician Caleb Nichol, whose various projects have navigated indie folk-rock, tripped-out indie pop, acoustic singer/songwriter fare, and dense, Beatles-inspired psychedelia. Currently a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at Bangor University in Wales, where they’re writing about queer ecopoetics in contemporary poetry, films, and media, Nichol’s released their debut full length, a queer-themed concept album based on the Beatles’ “Mean Mr. Mustard,” Ramon on Seattle’s Kill Rock Stars this past year. Headlining the night is New York’s Mason Lindahl, an acoustic guitarist and composer who’s garnered acclaim for his unique finger-picking style, influenced by minimalism and classical music. Growing up in Northern California on a diet of New American folk and country, Lindahl has incorporated that pastiche into his music, which eschews the tropes of guitar music for a style that feels personal and expressive. Last year he released Kissing Rosy in the Rain on Tompkins Square records.