Mark Erelli finished up a graduate degree in evolutionary biology shortly after his eponymous debut was released on Signature Sounds in 1999.
He has won several prestigious awards, including the Kerrville New Folk contest and the International Song Contest, where a song he co-wrote with Catie Curtis (“People Look Around”) bested 15,000 entries to win the grand prize. For the past 18 years, he has maintained a rigorous touring schedule, appearing onstage everywhere from coffeehouses and major folk festival stages (Newport, Philadelphia) to Fenway Park, where he once sang the national anthem before a Red Sox game. In recent years, Erelli has gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist sideman and producer, accompanying GRAMMY-winning artists such as Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to London’s Royal Albert Hall. In addition to producing two records for McKenna, Erelli’s own diverse discography includes collections of western swing, lullabies, bluegrass (with his band Barnstar!) and songs of stirring social conscience, as well as several highly-acclaimed collaborations (2009’s Darwin Song Project and 2010’s Seven Curses, a collection of murder ballads recorded with Jeffrey Foucault). His 10th solo album,For A Song (released in 2016), was likened to “the best of Paul Simon or Jackson Browne’s work…stories that are immediately relatable and reflective of the small moments in our lives.” (No Depression).
Isa Burke (pronounced like Lisa without the L) is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Boston, MA. She spends most of her time as one-third of the powerhouse indie-roots trio Lula Wiles, but she has also made a name for herself as a side musician, educator, writer, and occasional solo performer.
Her musical life has been a continuous process of finding new modes of expression, from studying Appalachian fiddle with Bruce Molsky to learning all of Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar parts for a Rumours tribute show to starting a group dedicated to writing a song every day for a month. In recent years her songwriting has moved to the forefront of her musical identity, and her songs contain a subtle power, blending the minimalism and grit of traditional folk and country with a modern indie sensibility and an eye for emotive detail. As an instrumentalist, she weaves textural, evocative lines and rhythms that support her assertive, soulful vocals. She is a collaborator at heart, drawing inspiration from the interlocking grooves of the fiddle and banjo or the alchemic harmony of a country duet.
In addition to her recording and touring with Lula Wiles, she has performed and recorded on fiddle, vocals, and acoustic and electric guitars with artists including Session Americana, Corporate Punk, Caitlin Canty, Stash Wyslouch, and many others. Driven by a love of good songs above all else, Isa is “as versatile a musician as they come, and a true showwoman who commands the stage and the audience’s attention” (Red Line Roots).