sweet, high-energy folk music from the Maine/ Montana border
Adam Nordell, & Johanna Davis
Sassafras Stomp is a high-energy folk band from central Maine. Weaving together diverse fiddle traditions with a strong rhythmic sensibility, fiddler Johanna Davis and guitarist Adam Nordell build a rich, dynamic roots sound marked by driving rhythms and sweet harmony vocals. The band is known for producing a surprisingly large and exciting sound, augmented by a cross-tuned fiddle, unconventional guitar playing, a harmonium-like shruti box and French Canadian foot percussion.
Davis & Nordell's collaboration began with a month-long musical artists' residency in Basin, Montana, a tiny silver mining town a stone’s throw away from the continental divide. After a debut performance at Seattle’s Northwest Folklife Festival, the duo established themselves as a regularly performing band across Montana. In 2010, they relocated to Davis’ home-state of Maine to start an organic farm and participate in the New England folk music community. Shortly there-after, Sassafras Stomp was invited to perform as one of six bands at the first Catapult! Showcase in Atlanta, Georgia. The new exposure allowed the band to begin performing for a wider circle of concerts, dances and festivals across the country, from North Carolina to California, Massachusetts to Washington DC.
2016 saw the release of the duo's newest album, Walk These Fields, which features original songs and fiddle tunes inspired by the farm landscape. The album reflects Davis and Nordell's work growing organic grains and vegetables at Songbird Farm, which they run in Unity, ME.
Songsmith Sara Trunzo writes the quirks and wisdom of rural northerners – particularly women – in a fresh and un-romantic voice. While mainstream country music pines over southern red dirt, Sara draws on several years of running Veggies For All food bank farm in Unity, where she helped get local produce into the hands of rural Mainers living in poverty. Her time in farm fields, fishing boats, community meetings, and food pantry warehouses add wrinkles to her characters and place to their places. Drawing influence from songwriters like Darrell Scott, Mary Gauthier, and Robert Hunter- she mines the untold story from the unlikely narrator. Sara plays music in Maine with The Dog Hounds and William Joseph Jiordan and in the south, Britton Patrick Morgan and Casey Lambert. She’s a Unity College graduate and longtime Waldo County resident currently living in Nashville.
Her debut EP will be available July 2017.