Erelli’s two decade career highlights include 11 solo albums, stints accompanying Josh Ritter, Paula Cole and Anais Mitchell, and a pair of records he produced for GRAMMY-winning songwriter Lori McKenna. Ever since Billboard magazine heralded the “simple, atmospheric grace” of his Signature Sounds debut, Erelli’s belief in the sacredness of an examined life has driven him between the ostensible extremes of lullabies and murder ballads, western swing and protest anthems. It has propelled him from the hallowed stages of the Newport Folk Festival, Grand Ole Opry and Royal Albert Hall, and beckoned him back home, to better nurture his 16-year marriage and be a father to his two young boys.
Whether he’s holding a pen or a Telecaster, Erelli’s music welcomes even the casual listener, but those who choose to dig more deeply are richly rewarded. Perhaps that is what Folk Alley hears in Erelli’s songs, when it encourages people to “listen close; there's sure to be something in there to break your heart a split second before it leads you straight to grace.”
“I recently returned from Nashville, where my song “By Degrees” was nominated for Song of the Year, and I had been asked to perform it at the Ryman Auditorium during the Americanafest Awards and Honors show. I had been a sideman at the Ryman before, but I’d never sung my own song in the room. Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter, two of my closest friends who had sung on the “By Degrees" recording would join me, and J.S. Ondara and Shawn Colvin would each sing a verse as well. I was so excited, and so ready to sing on that hallowed stage to an audience of my musical peers and heroes. It was just one song, but it felt like the biggest gig of my life” Mark Erelli
Izzy Heltai is an indie-folk singer-songwriter who puts a unique twist on traditional story-telling. Through songs that draw from personal stories to address broader universal truths, Izzy connects deeply with his listeners. Izzy’s latest release, Only Yesterday (April 2019) draws inspiration from the natural beauty of his native Western Massachusetts, his lived experiences, and stories from his community.
“Izzy's simple and often nomadic life is deeply reflected in his music. An unusual power and constant movement dominate his storytelling.” -The Wild Honey Pie