Low Lily
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Low Lily

Brattleboro, Vermont, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Brattleboro, Vermont, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Folk Roots




"Low Lily Six Song EP"

Once again I come across a collection of fine Americana and traditional roots music that is being played and performed by young people who “get it.” This music is alive and well in the respective hands of these Vermont musicians who have produced a short six track EP of exhuberant, yet sensitive roots music.

Beginning with the traditional “House Carpenter,” the trio of Liz Simmons, Lissa Schneckenburger and Flynn Cohen tackle a tune that has been covered by many folk artists including Bob Dylan. Yet, their take is fresh and it sounds as if this song is brand new which means even an old tune can be new again – in the right hands.

While the song is moody, the vocalizing is reminicent and silky like Alison Krauss. Liz provides enchanting vocals and guitar. Throughout the album, Lissa chimes in as well with vocals and fiddle with Flynn adding vocals, guitar and lots of mandolin. On track two, there is the addition of a trombone by Fred Simmons and Corey DiMario who plays double bass on all tracks.

“The Girl’s Not Mine,” is a Lissa original – and it is infused with the traditional emotive notes and arrangement. The ladies harmony, the combination of fiddle and three-part trombone lines translates wonderfully into a riveting folk song. The trio takes roots music into areas that have not been explored fully and it sounds exceptional and refreshing. The sound is refined, laid back and that makes it so much more intimate a recording. On headphones it’s really up-close. As if they sing into your ears as you are dozing – all the while smiling.

The third track is a Flynn Cohen original and it’s an instrumental that weaves fiddle (Lissa) and mandolin (Flynn) together. “Northern Spy,” cooks like most Irish reels with a relentless melody and a precise cohesion. Happiness, joy and optimism runs through these notes like fallen autumn leaves in a fast stream.

Liz’s original “Adventurer,” and Flynn’s original “All Roads Lead to You,” are laid back gems. The harmonies are tight and smooth like satin. The interchange between mandolin and fiddle: golden. This is not foot-stomping, whiskey-drinking roots music. However, even in this controlled, warm and sincere showcase your foot will be tapping regardless. The line “fly so high you can’t come down,” is reminiscent of the masterful classic 1970’s song “Hymn,” by the English band Barclay James Harvest who used a similar line to great majestic effect. (Available on YouTube).

“All Roads Lead to You,” is sung by Flynn – and the addition of the female vocals is gripping. There is nothing lame here, and because there are only six tracks Low Lily has concentrated on focusing on tight arrangements, originality and compelling melodies for their songs. Their material is not wholly Alison Krauss in nature – but, far more entrenched in traditional values, old world folk be it Irish, Celtic, English or Scottish. There is a flicker of Appalachian feel in some of their songs but it doesn’t overwhelm the ear. The aged sound is not retro either – but respective of another time with modern clarity and a restrained power.

The closer is the instrumental “Cherokee Shuffle / Lucky,” and the fiddle saws with bright notes, full sound and some sparks. As restrained at times as Low Lily is they are exemplifying a new frontier of Americana as their press release suggests. I can hear it. There is no reason young ears wouldn’t find something here that is appealing. - No Depression

"Sing Out!'s Best of 2015"

The only problem with this album is that there isn’t more of it. They call it an EP, which I guess it is, given that there are only six tracks (I’ve always wondered why we still use that term, we seldom refer to albums as LPs anymore). Still, each of track is wonderful, with each also serving to demonstrate the wonderful range that the band is capable of. The three members all sing, play, and contribute equally to the clean, wonderfully economical arrangements here, and production by the masterful Scott Nygaard. There are some additional musicians, some of them atypical for this kind of trio, such as trombone on “The Girl’s Not Mine.” “House Carpenter” and “Cherokee Shuffle” are standards, with lots of modernity brought to both, and they sit comfortably with the originals. They describe the project as a collections of songs from the road, yet, even with just these six tracks, they are able to take us on a wonderful journey through a wealth of ideas, musical and otherwise. But, again, it’s too short; It’s as if this collection is a resume of a sort, or a statement that “this is what we’d like to do.” It leaves me thinking, great, by all means please do. The sooner the better. They are a wonderful group, and if you missed this one this year, this is my early holiday gift to you: go listen to it. You’ll be glad you did. — GH - Sing Out!

"Low Lily- 2015 (self-released)"

Low Lily's debut EP features calming, rolling fiddle melodies, crisp vocals and a light touch. Low Lily is a vocal and string trio with serious chops.

Although there's nothing fancy about these selections, the spare arrangements serve to underscore the musicianship. Low Lily's members are securely part of the Northeast folk and Celtic tradition, and they have served up a tasty meal here.

Vocals are shared between Liz Simmons and Lissa Schneckenburger. Schneckenburger is a master fiddler whose strokes are sure and measured. Simmons' guitar accompaniment hits a sweet spot.

Low Lily's third collaborator is Flynn Cohen, a native of the British Isles whose teaching skills are in great demand in Northeast traditional music circles. Cohen's mastery of guitar and mandolin (on the instrumental "Northern Spy") fill out the rich texture of the stringed and vocal instruments on display in this release. Cohen also takes a vocal turn on "All Roads Lead To You" which, in harmony with his band mates, creates richness without flash.

The final cut - a medley of "Cherokee Shuffle" and "Lucky" - brings all the threads together. "Shuffle," which in most iterations starts at about 220 bpm and careens from there, starts languidly with fiddle and then kicks it up a bit with guitar picking before mandolin and fiddle lines join the party with "Lucky."

Like any debut EP, "Low Lily" is an audition. The band places its talent on display and shows it has great promise. - Country Standard Time

""Low Lily EP" by Low Lily"

By Donald Teplyske

Having moved away from their Celtic music roots (as Annalivia), Low Lily is more fully embracing a modern style rooted in the American string-band tradition.

Now a trio—Annalivia co-founders Liz Simmons and Flynn Cohen with Lissa Schneckenburger—whose members play guitar, guitar and mandolin, and fiddle, respectively, the group has developed a pleasing, harmony-rich approach to traditional-sounding material. Augmented by Corey DiMario on bass and Fred Simmons on trombones, Low Lily’s sound is natural and quite pleasing.

Schneckenburger’s “The Girl’s Not Mine” is but one highlight amongst the album’s six tracks. With an evocative storyline suggestive of challenge, the song encompasses a lovely fiddle break. Similarly impressive is “All Roads Lead to You,” featuring Cohen on lead vocal. Their interpretation of “House Carpenter” is absolutely gorgeous while their pairing of “Cherokee Shuffle” with the original “Lucky” is a wonderful closing piece.

Low Lily features three talented musicians and vocalists invigorating traditional sounds with a modern acoustic music vibe. Recommended if Aoife O’Donovan, the Honeycutters, and Norma MacDonald fire your candle. - The Lonesome Road Review

"Low Lily"

To put it simply, Low Lily used to be known as Annalivia, whose pleasing mini-album The Same Way Down quietly impressed me back in the spring of 2013. I'd guess the reason for the name alteration is the slight change in lineup: Liz Simmons and Flynn Cohen remain, but fiddle duties (formerly the province of Emerald Rae and Mariel Vandersteel) are now performed by Lissa Schneckenburger, so the band is to all intents and purposes now a trio.

Once again, however, Corey Di Mario underpins the unit on double bass, and this time there's some selective trombone embellishment on a couple of tracks from guest musician Fred Simmons. If anything, the overall feel of Low Lily is gentler and even more relaxed than that which characterised Annalivia, although there's no lack of internal power to the band's engine, as the disc's two instrumentals prove (especially, but not exclusively, Flynn's composition Northern Spy). There's a delicate and understated virtuosity that complements both the tightness and lyricality of the playing, a quality born of instrumentalists who don't need to declaim their musicianship from a pedestal in order to command listeners' attention.

Even so, maybe the disc finale Cherokee Shuffle/Lucky medley, takes its time to build, and in the end doesn't quite raise the roof. But overall I think my favourite cut here is Lissa's original song The Girl's Not Mine, which I was convinced I'd heard before.

Liz's Adventurer charms with its lovely harmonies, but the EP's opening canter through the traditional House Carpenter is also worthy of mention in what's become a rather competitive field of late. Low Lily provide the acoustic Americana scene with another reliable act who compellingly yet unassumingly mix contemporary folk and bluegrass sensibilities with a respectful knowledge of those traditions that's leavened with a sensitive use of their keen musicianship.

David Kidman - FATEA

"Annalivia– "The Same Way Down""

One listen to this record and it becomes quite clear that Annalivia’s brand of Celtic-Americana is an acquired taste—relatable to some and completely foreign to others. For starters, consider the fiddle instrumental, “Up in Smoke” and the band’s interpretation of the classic “Turtle Dove.” However, regardless of whichever musical “camp” you happen to align yourself with, one thing is for certain: The Same Way Down is a record deserving of repeated listens and therefore, one worth taking a chance on. Annalivia is the embodiment of heritage pride, so steeped is the band in the history of traditional American roots music, including bluegrass, Irish, Scottish, Norwegian, and Old Time. The charm lies in their seemingly effortless ability to fuse the aforementioned sounds of yesteryear to create something entirely new with an energy that can only be described as contagious (“Bright Sunny South”). In a word: charming. (Julia R. DeStefano) - The Noise

"The Same Way Down"

I first came across the music of Liz Simmons via the duo she shares with Hannah Sanders and their EP "World Begun". I was really impressed and offered them a slot on one of the Fatea Showcase Sessions, which I'm pleased to say they accepted and whilst Annalivia is different in its delivery it is none the less impressive.

In addition to Liz's guitar and vocal, the quartet have the twin fiddle attack and vocal harmonies of Emerald Rae and Mariel Vandersteel and the guitar, mandolin and shruti box of Flynn Cohen, who also takes the occasional slot in lead vocal capacity.

Now just looking at those names, you might be thinking to yourself, "I bet that they bring a real range of musical influences to the band," and you'd be right. Across both the songs and instrumentals of "The Same Way Down" you can pick up the likes of bluegrass, from the west, through a Celtic centre and Norwegian influences from the east, all fused together to greater and lesser extents.

Similarly there's a healthy mix of traditional songs and originals spread across the album, with the eclectic mix of influences allowing for some arranging opportunities to breathe a different life into more familiar songs, such as the opening track, "False Sir John".

Aoife O'Donovan guests on "Restless For Awhile", one of the songs penned from within the band, a song that is, slightly mellower and less percussive in nature than much of the album. There's a lot of picking and plucking across the album, with much of the twin fiddle attack being a blend bowing and plucking and it sounds divine.

Annalivia have insured that there is always something happening to hold your attention, be it the sweet harmonies, the playing off of the strings, the tight arrangements and consequently "The Same Way Down" has got a lot going for it, as you'll, no doubt, discover.

Neil King - Fatea

"The Same Way Down– Annalivia"

This promising young band has proven their worth in the folk and grassroots scene. The band is made up of Liz Simmons (lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar), Emerald Rae (fiddle, harmony vocals), Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle, harmony vocals), and Flynn Cohen (acoustic guitar, mandolin, sruti box, lead and harmony vocals).

The Same Way Down is Annalivia’s second album. What strikes as unusual about this band is that they originate from and remain based in America, although their music is strongly centred by traditional British folk instruments and sounds. Even the vocalists’ accents are reminiscent of a lyrical Irish lilt or Scottish tones.

With artfully sculpted melodies, enchanting harmonies and rhythmic strings, these talented musicians have proven their ability to tastefully and beautifully create an album that gives a contemporary sound whilst holding firmly onto its roots.

The album begins with False Sir John, a lively, merry melody with a traditional sound, the highlight of which is vocalist Liz Simmons’ warm and sweet voice. New Mown Meadow plays a clever instrumental intertwinement of the traditional violin with the American banjo. This bright and head-nodding track incorporates a collected of reels; So Long Old Friend, The Fine Apron and New Mown Meadow.

Similarly the instrumental tune Up in Smoke is led by strong, melodic fiddle harmonies by Rae and Vandersteel. It comes to mind that the quick instrumental tunes with the steadier, more lamenting vocal songs would be a very fitting combination for a live set.

To contrast these songs, the album introduces lamenting, melodic songs such as Up in Smoke and Wherever We’re Bound. These songs are particularly reminiscent of the band’s American roots and show off Simmons’ lyrical voice, supported by harmonies by Rae and Vandersteel.

These songs have a warm, nostalgic feel to them. The new flavour of guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan’s sweet vocals are introduced, which beautifully harmonise with Simmons’ lyrical yet haunting voice, supported by Rae and Vandersteel. Wherever We’re Bound in particular has a warm, nostalgic feel to it that is typical of grassroots, blues and traditional music.

Bright Sunny South is an upbeat and jaunty song that introduces Flynn Cohen’s strong lead vocals. To further demonstrate the versatility and diversity of the band, the song Snag gives a fast-paced instrumental tune suggestive of soft rock influences. Similarly, Deepest Water features Simmons’ breathy vocals supported by the plucky guitar and mandolin.

Unlike any of the other songs on the album, Turtle Dove features Simmons’s voice harmonised beautifully with that of Cohen’s strong bass voice. With the moody and atmospheric tones of the traditional song, this stands as one of the highlights of the whole album.

The Same Way Down features a solid balance of instrumental with vocal-led songs. It is a bit of a shame that there are only nine tracks on this album. From this promising start, Annalivia’s next album will be very gladly-awaited.

The range of influences incorporated in this album gives it a wide appeal and is sure to invite many a raving review. Listeners of Joni Mitchell and The Dixie Chicks as well as traditional folkies would be wise to give this album a listen.

Emily Bright - Bright Young Folk

"Annalivia– "The Same Way Down""

Bearing little physical resemblance to the five-piece that recorded the band's previous album BARRIER FALLS, the newly revitalised Boston-based quartet return with a refreshing new album of both traditional and original material. Once again led by Liz Simmons on lead vocals and guitar, with Emerald Rae on fiddle and Flynn Cohen on guitar, the trio are joined by California-raised Norwegian fiddler Mariel Vandersteel, who brings a taste of the Norwegian Hardanger tradition to the mix. With some impressive cross pollination of bluegrass and old time, together with Scottish and Irish songs and tunes, Annalivia come across equally as slick as Alison Krauss and Union Station, sometimes very close indeed on such as Restless for Awhile, for which the band are joined by Aoife O'Donovan (Crooked Still).
Produced by Jake Armerding, this richly textured album also features guest appearances from Corey DiMario on bass throughout and Lukas Pool on banjo. Notable amongst the traditional material, such as the opening False Sir John and Bright Sunny South, are the originals such as Liz Simmons' Deepest Water and Flynn Cohen's instrumental Snag, which claims to tip a hat to Prog Rock, Joni Mitchell and all things Irish.

Allan Wilkinson
- Northern Sky Radio

"‘The Same Way Down’ - new album from Annalivia - songs that echo throughout the day"

Listening to ‘The Same Way Down’, the new album from Annalivia places your soul somewhere between luxuriating in a lyrically soothing balm and experiencing an intense desire to dance – all part the-same-way-down-cdof the eternal fabric of American folk music. Ranging from traditional songs and tunes through self-penned originals this is an album that must gain the attention it richly deserves.

From an outstanding take on the traditional, ‘False Sir John’ with shimmering vocals and strings through ‘New Morn Meadow’ an instrumental artfully taking from the past and coalescing with the new, to the rich tones and layered harmonies of ‘Restless For A While’ this is a totally engaging. The key attractions for me reside in the beautiful melodies and softly sung lyrics of ‘Wherever We’re Bound’ and ‘Deepest Water’ – songs that echo with you throughout the day.

There’s a vivacious attraction in Annalivia’s music as they take the influence of ‘tradition’ from a variety of roots - Celtic, Scandinavian and Americana, blend in the immediacy of ‘new’ approaches and sprinkle the result with sparkling innovation to forge a brew that’s strong, heady, refreshing and full of flavour. And if one day Annalivia decide to head for England’s rocky shores (and they should) then I’ll be in the audience ready to drink deep of that concoction.

Annalivia are Liz Simmons (lead and harmony vocal, acoustic guitar) Flynn Cohen (acoustic guitar, mandolin, sruti box, lead and harmony vocals) Emerald Rae (fiddle, harmony vocals) and Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle, harmony vocals). Guest musicians on some tracks on ‘The Same Way Down’ are Corey DiMario (bass) Lukas Pool (banjo) and Aoife O’Donovan (vocals). - FolkWords

"ANNALIVIA, The Same Way Down (self-released)"

Fans of Aoife O’Donovan and Alison Krauss may want to seek out this string ensemble fusing Appalachian and Celtic elements. Frontwoman Liz Simmons’ sweet soprano rides lightly atop fiddle-centered arrangements as guitarist/mandolinist Flynn Cohen’s robust, almost percussive playing holds down the bottom end. O’Donovan lends her ethereal vocals to the Crooked Still-esque “Restless for Awhile”; other highlights include a shruti box-grounded take on the traditional “Turtle Dove.” - Pasadena Weekly


  • Low Lily (EP)
  • 10,000 Days Like These



“[Low Lily has] an incredible knack for putting a little pop twist on a traditional folk/Americana sound... it’s a blend that works beautifully.”– PopMatters

"A collective sound that’s as smart with sense of pop phrasing and flair as it is roots-savvy.” –Roots Music Report

Start with excellently matched vocals, add some world-class playing, sprinkle with raised-off-grid Americana and you get Low Lily. Flynn’s deft flatpicking on guitar and mandolin and Lissa’s virtuosic fiddle-playing are grounded by Liz’s percussive rhythm guitar playing, the sounds of which combine joyously in this stunning ensemble.

With a vocal blend that has been dubbed “outstanding” and “meticulous,” Low Lily’s cohesive sound comes naturally for musicians whose lives have been entwined on the road and onstage for almost two decades. Setting down roots in Brattleboro, Vermont, the band has crafted a signature sound which they have shared with enthusiastic audiences throughout North America and the UK, garnering two #1 songs on international folk radio and two Independent Music Award wins.

Chosen as Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s “Most Wanted Band” of 2016, Low Lily plays acoustic music that is deeply rooted in tradition yet sounds refreshingly contemporary. With their first full-album release, “10,000 Days Like These” (March 2018, following their 2015 self-titled EP release), Low Lily shares an intimate, no-tricks-involved, collection of songs that showcases their talents and proves them to be a formidable, ready-for-prime-time act. A first album this strong doesn’t come from newbies–all the members have performed with numerous well-known names in folk and traditional music. Flynn has toured with Ruth Moody, John Whelan, Cathie Ryan and Aoife Clancy. Liz has toured with Tom Chapin, Livingston Taylor, Melanie, and Long Time Courting. Lissa has toured as a solo act as well as with Solas and Childsplay.

Band Members