The Boston based trio of roots musicians called Lula Wiles were the first artists in a stellar lineup of bluegrass and roots musicians to play The Back Porch Festival last night. They made a large number of new fans with their short but stellar set to start off the evening. The majority of their live set is gleaned from their debut recording from last year called simply, Lula Wiles. The three Berklee trained musicians have stepped up their show with even tighter instrumentation and glorious three part harmonies. Their setlist included nods to their heroes Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt with a version of that trio’s “The Pain of Loving You” as well as the old time standard “Been All Around This World”. Each young lady was featured in a song that they wrote. Isa Burke began the set with her upbeat “One More Night” followed by Ellie Buckland’s “Sorrow Be the Bird” and Mali Obomsawin’s “Mama”. Their last tune of their set was a beautiful version of Burke’s “Traveling On”. The crowd were charmed by these young players interplay, vocally and instrumentally. They’ve really become adept at their craft in a relatively short time. Local fans may remember their opening set of last year’s Green River Festival. They seem more at ease with their songs and each other.
I was happy to discuss their music, songwriting and their views on politics and social change in an interview I did with Ellie Buckland and Isa Burke on Nine Volt Heart recently.