By a String

The May North

With evocative ballads to hard-driving foot-stompers, this is bluegrass without boundaries, folk without pretense, and honest storytelling without apology. The third original album from this modern folk string band.

The May North released their new original album “By a String” on Nov. 8, 2014 at a sold out album release show. This is the third studio album since 2012 from this rising Twin Cities string band.

With a sound that’s part folk, part bluegrass and a bit of breakneck blues, The May North continues to build steam in the Twin Cities’ vibrant roots music community. The album was recorded and produced by Ryan Young (Trampled by Turtles) and veteran Twin Cities bassist Jeff Swanner, formerly of Pert Near Sandstone, joined The May North on this album as the band’s newest member. The album's cover art features an original painting by Jamie Harper in Winona, MN entitled "Moonlit Birches" (2013).

The album "By a String" kicks off with a toe-tapping classic for the Americana playbook, “Whiskey in the Rain,” and then moves seamlessly through themes of lost love, mountain road trips and even urban strife.

The album title is borrowed from a line in the song, “Josephine,” in which a heartbroken North Shore narrator looks back fondly on simpler times when he “had the world held up by a string.”

Album highlights include the raucous “Look Again,” possibly the group’s most furious musical statement to date with touches of Kentucky bluegrass speed and Memphis blues swagger. When the dust settles, the band lets out a deep breath and shows a subdued spiritual side in songs like “Time On Your Hands” and “Savannah.”

During the writing of the album, their fiddle player's grandfather passed away, and the song “Tired, Hungry and Broke” includes quotes from and stories of her grandpa's wit and life. With a jubilant, sing-along chorus and driving fiddle breaks, the song showcases The May North’s knack for delivering sincere, heartfelt lyrics alongside feel-good music that makes you want to get up and dance.

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