Cover Lay Down was started in 2007 with a simple mandate: to celebrate folk artists and songwriters through coversongs, and explore the margins and meanings of folk music in a 21st century world. 7 years, 3 hosting companies, dozens of music festivals and shows, hundreds of artists, and thousands of songs later, we’re still here, and there’s plenty to come.
At Cover Lay Down, we believe that familiarity breeds contentment – that is, that coversongs create a powerful comfort zone for fans to discover new artists and composers. As such, all songs included here are ultimately shared for the purpose of introducing new listeners to new and previously-unappreciated musicians, that they might follow the threads to those artists’ original works, and in doing so, become part of the base of support which allows musicianship to continue to be a fruitful way to make a living, by subsidizing the creation of new music itself.
There are many ways to show support of artists, of course. Purchasing music matters; so does show attendance, and plain old word of mouth advertising. But it takes all of us to make music happen. If you like what you hear, follow the links provided, and lend your patronage to those artists which move you most.
Boyhowdy lives with three tiger cats, two artistically-inclined daughters, one patient spouse, one elderly Jack Russell Terrier, two rapidly-growing turtles, and one grumpy hedgehog on several forested acres in rural Massachusetts. He has multiple degrees in communications and culture, and a lifetime of curiosity about the complex symbiosis between people and the communities they inhabit, and the way texts and cultural artifacts can be used to bridge the gaps between them. He writes to find out what he feels and thinks, and is often surprised by what emerges.
Boyhowdy’s musical influences are vast and varied. He grew up with one ear cocked towards the local suburban Boston grunge scene of the late eighties and early nineties, and the other affixed to alternative college radio, but always coveted his father’s record collection, which was especially strong in the blues and folk revival movements of the seventies and eighties. He subsequently moved to Vermont in the mid-nineties after dropping out of Bard College to marry his college sweetheart; there, he discovered the joys of farmer’s markets, sparse singer-songwriter sets and old-timey footstomping fiddle tunes, and local microbrews.
Though he was originally trained as an educator in science museums and prep schools, and before that, as a stage actor and operatic baritone at Boston University, he has found his true calling as a teacher in the second largest urban school district in Massachusetts, where he commutes every day to teach English, Media Studies, New Literacies and Communications to students whose bodies have grown up, but whose minds have not yet fully opened.
In the evenings, boyhowdy chairs local school board meetings, rehearses musicals, and comes home to sing pop songs to his two daughters in the darkness, accompanying himself on mountain dulcimer. On weekends, he sings in the church choir, and takes day trips to quaint New England walking towns with his family. In summers, he plays the villain in regional Shakespeare-in-the-Park productions, and helps run the second largest folk festival in New England. On his rare moments alone, he reads, blogs, and thinks about stuff.