More Notes on “Hadestown”

The more music you listen to– and write about– the rarer it is that you hear something you can honestly say sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before. So this announcement comes with a bit of fanfare, and no small degree of surprise: In 2010, I’ve heard an album– Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown, which is a folk record, an opera, a political fable, a revised myth, and an existential love story, all in one– that is, most assuredly, like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

Unfortunately, an album as rich and original as this one is pretty much guaranteed to remain a cult classic at best, virtually unheard at worst. Let me do my part to buck that trend: I’ve already reviewed the album here— not in nearly as much detail as I would have liked, but who would read a track-by-track walkthrough?– and here are some links to a few more required readings on the Hadestown project:

First and foremost, read the story of Hadestown— its history, its themes, its songs– in the aritst’s own words, over at The Basement Rug.

And here’s more from Anais– an interview with NPR.

Here’s the review that turned me on to the album, by my friend Thom Jurek.

And here’s a terrific review from the Burlington Free Press.

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