Indie-roots trailblazers, The Mammals, are a high-octane Americana quintet from New York’s storied Hudson Valley carrying on the work of Pete Seeger & Woody Guthrie with a deep original repertoire, searing American roots sound, and a message of hope for humanity.
Known for their jubilant, high-energy shows, The Mammals deftly move from older-than-dirt banjo duets to sound-the-alarm topical fare that’s right in line with the times, bouncing from rafter raising hoe-downs to hear-a-pin-drop a cappella balladry.
The new album, Sunshiner, bottles The Mammals’ on-stage effervescence and lyrical intellect along with some very beautiful studio magic. Sunshiner bursts open with the soaring, up-tempo idealism of Merenda’s “Make It True,” with echoes of The Byrds, and then takes a more modern, Feist-inspired, turn with Ungar’s soulful plea,“Open The Door.”
The Mammals treasure the timeless traditions of song, story-telling and dance. Their work is to continue a musical odyssey so that the same handmade music passed down to them makes it thru to future generations one song, one concert at a time.
Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno
Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno are tapping into the deepest parts of American music, taking old songs that have seldom been heard and presenting them next to their own timeless and visceral originals. When they are not performing as duo, they’re often found sitting knee to knee, playing under the canopy of trees at fiddle festivals across the country, such as the gathering where they met in June of 2016. Across any campground, or concert venue, the echos of their vibrant and magnetic harmonies ring out.
Leva, of Lexington, Virginia grew up playing and performing with her parents, Carol Elizabeth Jones and James Leva, learning traditional songs from their sources and honing her rhythmic guitar style. This past June, Vivian recorded her debut album Time is Everything in close collaboration with Calcagno during an inspired session at Studio 808A in the small town of Floyd, VA. She will be releasing this album of original music on March 2nd, 2018 on Free Dirt Records.
Riley, of Seattle, WA spent his earlier years playing with the widely recognized band The Onlies, described as “masterful” and “deliciously well-crafted” (Kithfolk) and developing his own distinct authenticity on the fiddle and banjo.
To this collaboration they bring both the steady hands of experience and a refined taste for American music, yet still a youthful abandon that can’t be forced. In 2018, they will be on tour internationally to support Vivian’s new release and bring their distinct brand of old-time and country to a festival, hall, bar, or fireplace gathering near you.