Mitchell,Anais - Hadestown
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Notes / Reviews

Hadestown is the fourth album by Vermont-based Anaïs Mitchell, and was released by Righteous Babe Records in the U.S. on March 9, 2010. The album follows a variation on the Ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, where Orpheus must embark on a quest to rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld. It has been advertised as a 'folk opera'. Several of the songs feature singers other than Ms. Mitchell, such as Justin Vernon (better known as lead vocal and guitar from Bon Iver), Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, and Tanya, Petra and Rachel Haden (referred to in the track listing as 'The Haden Triplets').


The album features orchestral arrangements by Michael Chorney, who was involved with Anaïs' recordings since Hymns for the Exiled in 2004. The recording itself is based upon a live version of the 'folk opera' which was performed by Ms. Mitchell with the collaboration of Mr. Chorney and a theatrical director, Ben T. Matchstick. These performances originally featured a 22-person cast and, after a tour of New England, the songs began to be edited and reworked.

In relation to the story, the part of Orpheus is played by Vernon, Persephone by DiFranco, Hades by Greg Brown and Mitchell herself plays Eurydice.

While most of the recording was produced by Mr. Sickafoose at Brooklyn Recording Studio in New York, the lead vocals were often produced elsewhere in the U.S..

The grammy nominated packaging was designed by , and , using the artwork of .


Upon release, Hadestown gained extremely positive reviews overall. Drowned in Sound awarded the album a rare 10/10, stating that "Mitchell traverses such a sweeping range of emotions, genres and styles over the course of Hadestown, it’s frankly remarkable that the whole thing works at all. That it works so brilliantly well, that in under an hour it creates a world you’ll want to return to time and time again, that it is a glittering model of the form – of collaboration itself – is nothing short of awe-inspiring." The Guardian and NME were similarly effusive in their praise, awarding the album 5/5 and 9/10 respectively. Stereo Subversion's Jonathan Sanders gave the album a perfect score and called it "a lasting example of where folk music can go when the right musicians take hold of history." The album also tops review aggregator website AnyDecentMusic?'s all time chart with a 9.2, the highest rating for any album.http

Chart positions


Category:2010 albums

Category:Anaïs Mitchell albums

This text has been derived from Hadestown on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

Anaïs Mitchell (pronounced 'uh-nay-is') (born c. 1981) is an American singer-songwriter.

Early life

Anaïs Mitchell grew up on a farm in Addison County, Vermont and attended Middlebury College. Her father is a novelist and a retired college professor.

Mitchell began writing and performing songs at the age of seventeen. While growing up, Mitchell traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America and later influenced her career as a songwriter.


In 2002, Mitchell recorded her debut album The Song They Sang When Rome Fell in a single afternoon.

In 2003 Mitchell won the New Folk award at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Kerrville Folk Festival.

Her next album, Hymns for the Exiled, was released on Chicago's Waterbug Records label in 2004. This recording attracted the attention of singer/songwriter, Ani DiFranco who signed Mitchell to her label, Righteous Babe Records.

In 2006 she debuted a draft of her Hadestown "folk opera" which she wrote in collaboration with arranger Michael Chorney and director Ben T. Matchstick. December 7, 2006 by Megan James Addison County Independent.

A revised verson of Hadestown was staged in 2007 and Mitchell's third album, The Brightness, was released on Righteous Babe Records. press release Righteous Babe Records.

In 2008 Mitchel was nominated in the Contemporary Artist category of the third annual Folk Alliance awards show broadcast. News You Should Note posted February 4, 2008 No Depression. In September that same year Righteous Babe Records released country e.p., a split vinyl/CD EP Mitchell recorded with Rachel Ries.

In April 2009, Mitchell said she intended to release a recording of Hadestown. Mitchell lent her vocals to the song "Miss Independence", off of Burlington-based singer Myra Flynn's album "Crooked Measures"., HitQuarters, 13 April 2009.

Hadestown, a recording of Mitchell's folk opera was released on Righteous Babe records in March 2010 in the US (late April 2010 in the UK) and received favorable reviews. Her manager, Slim Moon, described it as "the story of Orpheus and Eurydice set in post-apocalyptic Depression-era America." The album includes guest appearances by Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem, and The Haden Triplets (Petra, Rachel, and Tanya Haden).


Mitchell has received favorable reviews on her musical style, sound and performance. An article in Acoustic Guitar magazine calls Mitchell "fearlessly emotive" and compares her to Dylan, Cohen, and Welch. by Anand Nayak Songcraft: Anais Mitchell Acoustic Guitar April 2005, No. 148.

A review in No Depression magazine describes Mitchell as "girlishly sprite and brimming with innocence" and says that she "brings to mind the hippie-throwback charm of Victoria Williams and "80s pop star Cyndi Lauper".http No Depression

Margaret Reges of Allmusic describes Mitchell as having "the earthiness of Shawn Colvin, the child-like bite of Joanna Newsom, and the urban jumpiness of Ani DiFranco"http Allmusic


* The Song They Sang... When Rome Fell (2002) – ASIN: B000N4917Q

* Hymns for the Exiled (2004) Waterbug Records – ASIN: B0016BUVTC

* The Brightness (2007) Righteous Babe Records – ASIN: B000LP4O2E

* Country E.P. (2008) Righteous Babe Records - ASIN: B001EYGOCY (with Rachel Ries)

* Hadestown (2010) Righteous Babe Records - ASIN: B0034JIOWK (with Ani DiFranco, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Greg Brown and Ben Knox Miller)


This text has been derived from Anais Mitchell on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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