May Erlewine is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter based in Michigan whose pastoral, socially conscious music has won a sizable and growing following throughout the Midwest and beyond.
Erlewine was born and raised in Big Rapids, MI to a musical family -- her father was a member of the influential Michigan blues-rock band the Prime Movers and her uncle is a noted luthier. Erlewine was educated at home, and she began playing guitar, violin, and piano as a child; she also absorbed a rich variety of musical influences, including blues, traditional folk, R&B, bluegrass, rock & roll and more, all of which were recognizable elements when she began writing her own songs. In her teens, Erlewine developed a passion for travel and started hitching rides from one end of the country to another, sharing songs with the people she met along the way, and honing her skills as a singer and performer. In 2003, Erlewine met Samuel Seth Bernard
at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, and they discovered they were both musically and personally compatible. Erlewine became part of the Earthwork Collective, a group of like-minded artists and musicians affiliated with Michigan's Earthwork Farm, and Erlewine recorded her first album for the collective's affiliated label, Earthwork Music. Released under the name Daisy May
, a nickname she'd had since childhood, Erlewine's first album, Sleepless, was a largely solo acoustic affair dominated by her strong, richly musical voice, while 2004's Heart Song found her working with a handful of musicians who were affiliated with the Earthwork Collective. 2006 saw the release of Erlewine's first collaborative release with Bernard
, simply titled Seth Bernard and Daisy May, and the following year, Erlewine issued her third solo disc, Mother Moon. Erlewine is also an environmental activist and educator, and in 2007 she wrote and recorded "A Letter from Downstream," a song that spoke out against sulfide mining in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which Erlewine performed at a special concert for Jennifer Granholm, the Governor of Michigan. 2008 proved to be a busy year for Erlewine -- she released her fourth solo album, Snow Songs, she traveled to Mexico with Bernard
to participate in a series of educational workshops with indigenous Mayan musicians, and she began performing under her birth name May Erlewine. Erlewine and Bernard
also recorded a second collaborative album in 2008, which was released through Earthwork in 2009 as Welcome Back, under the names Samuel Seth Bernard
and May Erlewine. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi