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Betty and The Boy

Many on this side of the Atlantic have been asking how it could be that it took them so long to discover May Erlewine.

On her home patch she has become known as Michigan's Songbird after releasing something like fifteen albums in a career that has won her many friends and fans around the world.

But it wasn't until she toured the UK in 2017 and played summer festival dates with one of her side projects - The Sweet Water Warblers - that folks here began to chatter excitedly on the "where the heck have they been hiding" grapevine.

Then when she released her stunning solo album Mother Lion, that was when the realisation hit home that the term "seasoned" had really been made for this remarkable lady.

An extensive back catalogue has substance and her creative vision is expansive. Long before she made this long-overdue breakthrough, her material had been performed by many other well-respected artists, among them Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass and Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys.

May is a member of the Earthwork Music Collective, a group of independent artists who share resources and talents to raise community, self-awareness and encourage a free-flow of creativity. Her songs show a very real connection and concern with everyday folk.

Whether with full band behind her or alone under the spotlight, what you get from the live experience is magic.

Since releasing the Mother Lion album in the UK, she has created a considerable hunger for more. Writing at Folk Radio UK, Mike Davies said: “She’s looking to tour the UK with her own band which will no doubt serve to widen her fan base here. You really should set up an alert for those dates now.” At AmericanaUK, Michael Farley lebelled it “superb - a coming of age” release. Country Music People said she was “a huge musical talent,” Rock n Reel (RnR) magazine told readers the album was “enchanting” and Country Music magazine called it “mesmerising.”

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