Free Dirt Records has unveiled several releases for the first quarter of 2022, including Ozark Folk singer Willi Carlisle, Canadian Punk-Folk duo Mama’s Broke, and a Phil Cook-produced album from stringband musicians Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves.
The label is focusing on keeping “one foot in the mainstream of the music industry and one foot firmly outside—DIY, radical, independent,” label head Jonathan Een Newton explains. The label also explicitly states that they they seek out activism in their artists, “encouraging overdue, uncomfortable conversations in roots music and pushing for change”.
Here’s a little more info on each of those 2022 releases:
Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves (March 2022):
Fiddle and banjo duo Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves’ last album for Free Dirt Records was a breakout success, gathering praise from folks like Paste Magazine who said “Their reckless sounds signal a change of pace in Appalachian music and a rebuff of old-time traditions.” Their new album, coming March 2022, was produced by beloved Americana visionary Phil Cook!
Mama’s Broke (May 2022):
Canadian folk duo Mama’s Broke, based out of Halifax, are known for bringing a wide spread of Canadian traditions together under a DIY punk banner, merging biting social commentary with folk roots. This will be their debut on Free Dirt Records and the follow-up to their underground 2017 album.
Willi Carlisle (July 2022):
Folk iconoclast, rabble rouser, and constant road dog Willi Carlisle first came to national attention from his wildly popular videos for tastemaker YouTube channels GemsonVHS and WesternAF. With roots in the Ozarks and a populist streak to his music as wide as Utah Phillips’ beard, Carlisle’s the real deal.