Insight : Lindsay Straw's debut album 'My Mind From Love Being Free'

May 2015 saw the release of a debut album by singer Lindsay Straw, who is a singer, guitarist, and bouzouki player, originally from Montana, but now living in Boston. The album is called My Mind From Love Being Free and it includes 10 traditional songs, mostly from the British Isles.   There is a strong theme of love and loss running through the album, with songs like Lovely Molly, The Bonny Light Horseman and Lurgy Stream getting a refreshing new interpretation.

In the liner notes Lindsay says: “I didn't set out to record a collection of traditional songs about love and relationships, but when I realized I had, I thought it made sense to give it the rather contrary title of My Mind From Love Being Free (taken from a line of "Lurgy Stream"). The singers and albums I learned these songs from represent influences across nearly a decade of exploring the traditional songs of Britain and Ireland. I've been playing and singing half of these songs, as you hear them, for years; others are relatively fresh arrangements, created for this recordings. It's largely due to the encouragement of friends and fellow musicians that I finally feel ready to release them into the world.”

Lindsay said that when she started out, she had very few ambitions for it other than to just record the material. However, once the recording process had finished and she had a chance to sit back and listen to it, she felt it gave a very honest representation of where she is at, with her music.  The immediate feedback was also very positive.

“For people to say that I don’t sound like anyone else, is a huge compliment. You set out to do the best recording you can, and if people hear something fresh and new, it’s great. Other comments referred to how well the arrangements suited the songs. I wouldn't necessarily change anything about it (though to be honest, I'm still trying to avoid listening to it much!). The whole experience has definitely given me some new ideas about what I'll do on the next album.”

On the issue of choosing songs, and where her inspiration comes from, she says that there are many, amazing musicians, taking both obscure (or even newly written material), as well as familiar trad songs in experimental directions. “It really feels to me like you can do anything right now,” she says.

“Up until recently, my process has simply been to find songs that I like, and that really resonate for me; bonus points if they were a little lesser known. Now, though, I'm actively trying to cultivate a more obscure repertoire - finding songs in old books, finding versions I haven't heard elsewhere, writing new melodies, or even covering a recently written song that fits into the traditional sound.”

In addition to her solo work, Lindsay has also recently joined forces with folk trio ' The Morning Tree', who we have covered on Tradconnect, and she also  regularly performs as a duo with flute and tin whistle player Caroline O'Shea, and with Boston-based Irish quartet 'The Ivy Leaf'.

Next up, Lindsay will be doing some gigs with Caroline O’ Shea. It will will take her back into the role of backing Irish tunes, which she hasn't done so much of late. She is also working with The Morning Tree on some long distance recordings that she hopes to spin into a second album for the band, recording and touring sometime in 2016.

She will be undertaking her first tour this winter, heading out for a string of gigs in Oregon, Washington and California in late November and early December.  With Caroline O'Shea she is starting to plan for a tour of the U.S. midwest for next spring. In between those tours, she plans to arrange a batch of songs with strong female protagonists, with hopes to record them for her second album at some point in the spring or early summer.

My Mind From Love Being Free has now been added to our Download Centre and if you are a participating broadcaster you can download it for free, to play on your radio station.


To purchase the album visit

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For broadcasters that are members of our Download Centre it can be downloaded for FREE. Follow the link below.

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Comment by David O'Sullivan on September 29, 2015 at 19:50

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