The Song Summit is the brainchild of Ben Anderson, Park City resident and lifetime musician/founding member of the jamband Aiko. He started the Song Summit to celebrate his passion for music and his personal mission to bring clarity and normalcy to the struggles musicians, artists and music lovers alike face around mental health and dependency. Song Summit is proud to partner with three local charities who are in the trenches every day addressing mental health, suicide prevention and addiction recovery: Communities that Care, Jewish Family Service and Summit Clubhouse.
The Song Summit is a decidedly sideways move away from mass music festivals and the dilution of intimate connections where scale numbs engagement between artists and fans. It seeks to create a retreat for artists where they play their songs and create conversations with audiences around both proven and inspired practices for bolstering creativity and success in music and beyond. September 8-12 in Park City, Utah.
Artist Performances by: Adia Victoria, Anders Osborne, Andrew Bird & Jimbo Mathus, Bonny Light Horseman, Brad Walker, Cedric Burnside, Celisse, Chad Cromwell, Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers, David Ramirez, Devon Gilfillian, Father John Misty, Fruit Bats, Gary Clark Jr., Iron & Wine, Ivan Neville, Joe Pug, John Craigie, John Doe, Jonathan Russell of The Head And The Heart, Jonathan Wilson, Josh Kelley, Josh Ritter, Joy Oladokun, Kamasi Washington, Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel, Langhorne Slim, Lori McKenna, Lucius, Mavis Staples, Mike Dillon, Natalie Hemby, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rising Appalachia, Ryan Bingham, Tank and the Bangas, and Tré Burt.
Lab Conversations with: Alison Mosshart, Mark Borden, Rich Roll, Jason Isbell, Dopey Live, Langhorne Slim, Celisse, Jay Sweet, Tarriona Tank Ball, John Doe, Josh Ritter, Tré Burt, Eric D. Johnson, Devon Gilfillian, Lori McKenna, Natalie Hemby, Jonathan Russell, Sam Beam, Ben Jaffe, Joe Pug, Andrew Bird, Jimbo Mathus, Cedric Burnside, Fred Armisen, Rob Bleetstein, Jonathan Wilson, Josh Kaufman, Lucius, John Craigie, Craig Finn, Jay Blakesberg, Leslie Jordan, and Shaun White.
Songwriters-in-the-Round lineup: Aaron Barker, Aaron Benward, Angaleena Presley, Bill Luther, Blake Bollinger, Blessing Offor, Charles Esten, Curt Chambers, Daniel Donato, Danny Myrick, Dave Pahanish, David Ryan Harris, Dean Alexander, Earl Bud Lee, Emily Shackelton, Eric Van Houten, Even Stevens, Gable Bradley, Garrison Starr, Hailey Steele, Jace Everett, Jaida Dreyer, Josh Kelley, Kalie Shorr, Keith Stegall, Kelly Archer, Kent Blazy, Kylie Morgan, Kylie Sackley, Leslie Jordan, Liz Huett, Matt Warren, Megan Linville, Pher, Reyna Roberts, Rick Brantley, Sarah Darling, Sean McConnell, Sheena Brook, Shelly Fairchild, Sonia Leigh, Steve Seskin, Tim James, Travis Howard, and Waylon Payne. Some names may be new to Summit attendees, but their timeless songs certainly won’t be. This group represents the very best in publishing across all musical formats and genres. Come for the songs, take home the stories.
Today, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Watchhouse – the critically acclaimed roots music duo who until recently were known as Mandolin Orange – announce their new self-titled album Watchhouse, out August 13 on Tiptoe Tiger Music / Thirty Tigers. With the change of name comes an artistic rebirth: While still firmly rooted in poetic Appalachian folk, there’s a sonic adventurousness informed by American primitivism and ambient soundscapes that gives Marlin and Frantz’s songs a new, unknowable allure. Watchhouse is audacious, spectral music that wrestles with and finds magic in the relationships we build with our families, our society, our planet, and ourselves.
Produced by Andrew Marlin and Josh Kaufman — who has produced records for The National and Bonny Light Horseman, and also played on Taylor Swift’s folklore and evermore — Watchhouse, as the name change suggests, is a reinvention. These nine songs are both personal and political, touching upon Marlin and Frantz’s newfound parenthood as well as climate change and caustic online interactions as they parse out how to live a kinder, more decent life on their own terms.
To create the album, Watchhouse decamped to Smith Mountain Lake, a sprawling hideaway at the foot of the Appalachians. Kaufman urged Marlin and Frantz to approach the process with new eyes and throw out their old conceptions about what their music sounds like. Alongside drummer Joe Westerlund, guitarist Josh Oliver, and bassist Clint Mullican, Marlin and Frantz broke loose, surprising themselves as they indulged in novel structures and textures. “Belly Of The Beast” is an astral waltz, while “Better Way” shifts from nimble harmonies to an acoustic drone. “Beautiful Flowers” is a particular highlight: A sparse elegy for a butterfly crushed by an car windshield that ponders industry and environmental degradation, it climaxes with funereal horns and Frantz’s affecting vocal.
Alongside the album announcement, Watchhouse also share the music video for “New Star,” a song about familial solidarity and self-sacrifice that is plain-spoken but vital. Directed by Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath, the video centers on the almost instinctual rituals of our lives that tie us to our various communities: children playing, friends sharing a cigarette, families gathering for dinner. After a year that forced many of us apart, it’s a reminder of the joys we are just beginning to return to and the strength we draw from each other.
“We’re different people than when we started this band,” Marlin says, reflecting on all these shifts. “We’re setting new intentions, taking control of this thing again.”
Watchhouse have also announced new tour dates starting in June:
Watchhouse Tour Schedule
6/5 & 6/6 – The Caverns – Pelham, TN
6/17 to 6/20 – Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride, CO %
6/25 to 6/26 – Bluegrass in the Bottoms – Kansas City, MO %