Featuring Ellen Stanley on banjo and vocals, Mother Banjo is a New England-raised, Minneapolis-based songwriter. Called “an outstanding poet” (Inside Bluegrass), she was a Midwest Finalist for the prestigious Mountain Stage NewSong Contest and has been featured nationally on SiriusXM Radio and CMT.com. She has showcased at South By Southwest (SXSW) and the Folk Alliance International Conference and has been touring behind her latest album The Devil Hasn't Won, sharing bills with such notables as Lucy Wainwright Roche, Grammy-winning bluegrass legend Jim Lauderdale, and The Gear Daddies' Martin Zellar. Now she is getting ready to release her first original album in over five years.
The highly-anticipated Eyes on the Sky (2019) is Mother Banjo's most fully realized album to date, artfully mixing her signature blend of folk, bluegrass, and soulful Americana that has become a hallmark of her live shows. Produced by Jeff Oehler of New York-based Beehive Productions, it was tracked live on the stage of the historic Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing, MN with long-time collaborators Dan Gaarder (guitars, vocals), Jim Parker (mandolin), Eric Paulson (bass), and Ben Cook-Feltz (keyboards, vocals) and special guests Sarah Morris (vocals), Jake Armerding (fiddle), and Joe Olsen (drums). The record was written over 6 years of great personal change, including marriage, loss, and serious soul-searching in a contentious political climate.
“Although this is my most personal album to date, this collection of songs is ultimately about looking beyond oneself and keeping your eyes on the big picture so we can be more present for each other,” Mother Banjo says. “Making this record helped me get back to what matters— reconnecting with friends and making music in community with others.”