EMILY PINKERTON'S driving force as a songwriter and ethnomusicologist is to explore the musical and social ties that bind the Americas. For two decades, she has traveled between the U.S. and Chile, playing fiddle, banjo, guitar, charango and guitarrón.
In her solo career, Pinkerton writes songs that blend Appalachian and Andean traditions. She draws on her studies with legendary musicians Alfonso Rubio, Chosto Ulloa, Patricia Chavarría and others, including extensive fieldwork with rural poet-singers of central Chile. Performance highlights include concerts at Sala América in Santiago, Chile, the Panama Jazz Festival and collaborations with Venezuelan violinist Eddy Marcano.
Most recently, Pinkerton founded old-time trio, The Early Mays. Known for watertight vocal harmonies and stirring arrangements, The Mays just performed on NPR’s Mountain Stage and hit the top of the National Folk-DJ charts this August with their latest release “Chase the Sun.” Last year, they won the Neo-Traditional Band Competition at The Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, West Virginia, not far from the home county of the Hammons Family, whose music was the first inspiration for Rounder Songs.