Recommended if You Like
Indigo Girls James Taylor Gillian Welch

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Out-and-Proud Folk: Alternative Folk Country: Americana Folk: Progressive Folk

By Location
United States - California - SF United States - United States United States - California

Links
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Coyote Grace

If you’d like to watch from a front-row seat as roots music reinvents itself, look no
further than Coyote Grace. At once both radically progressive and unashamedly
nostalgic, the trio is at the forefront of a growing movement to redefine the meanings of
“roots” and “tradition.”

“Coyote Grace plays with the heart of traditional country and Americana music, but tells
their stories with a bold twist,” says the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray. “They write
heartwrenching melodies and make such textured harmonies that I find myself enraptured
and taken by their timelessness of song.”

Armed with a bevy of acoustic instruments from guitar and upright bass to banjo,
mandolin, fiddle, and accordion, Coyote Grace’s Joe Stevens, Ingrid Elizabeth and
Michael Connolly fill theater, club, and festival stages with a wash of sound seemingly
far too expansive for three musicians, mixing bluegrass and blues, soul and Southern
twang into a unique sound that hovers just beyond the edge of ‘familiar.’ The sultry trio
combines virtuosic musicianship combined with a humble, warm stage presence, all
stemming from a history of self-invention – and re-invention.

“Playing roots music doesn’t simply mean imitating old traditions,” says multi-instrumentalist
Michael Connolly. “All of us have a strong sense of wanting to hold onto
the past, to tradition – while still being unburdened enough to move forward.”

This is perhaps no more evident than in the case of guitarist and transman Joe Stevens,
whose gender transition resolved a lifetime of dissonance between being raised as female
while identifying as male. Not without cost, Joe’s transition closed some doors while
opening many others, and significantly informs his songwriting and performance.
Meanwhile, Ingrid Elizabeth, the self-proclaimed “pink sheep” of her small Ohio
hometown, and Memphis-born Michael Connolly both carry the twang and soul of their
Middle America roots while maintaining decidedly Left Coast values.

Coyote Grace’s rise to national prominence comes from a decidedly humble origin –
beginning as a Seattle-based duo in 2004, Ingrid Elizabeth and Joe Stevens founded the
band as street performers outside of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, using their busking
proceeds to fund their first studio album, Boxes and Bags, which is now in its sixth
pressing, and accompanied at the merch table by three other albums: The Harvey Tour,
Buck Naked, and Ear To the Ground, which in February of 2011 reached #6 on the Roots
Music Report’s Folk charts -- the highest charting independent album at the time.

The radio airplay itself comes on the heels of a highly successful touring season in 2010,
during which Coyote Grace performed three separate tours opening for and playing
alongside the Indigo Girls. Audience response was immediate and enthusiastic, with the
group breaking the Indigo Girls’ tour records for album sales by an opening band. Coyote
Grace has also performed with Girlyman, Melissa Ferrick, Chris Pureka, and Lowen
& Navarro.

“There's a yearning, freight-train-hopping, propulsive energy to many of [Coyote
Grace]’s songs that suggests not only an indie-band road tour, but the road to one's true
identity, a destination on a map still being written. These youthful travelers depend on the
kindness of strangers and of lovers, and on their journey they've experienced enough joy
and heartbreak to last a lifetime.”
Sylvia Sukop – Huffington Post