Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

June 19, 2014

New album, new tour, new mom May Erlewine

WILLIAMSBURG — Parenting a five-month old gave May Erlewine a new appreciation for unbroken sleep. A shocked, now grudging, acceptance of the baby gear mountain in their Williamsburg home. A completely different, laughable, understanding of the term "time management."

The hectic juggle also brought the 32-year old musician something she didn't expect — focus. No more scatter; Erlewine digs into tasks with new-found purpose.

"I have become more intentional with my time," Erlewine said. "I'm more focused on what I want to learn."

Like becoming better on the guitar, she said.

“I am confident in my singing and songwriting,” Erlewine said. “But I could always be more proficient on my instrument.”

Erlewine, pronounced "early wine,” comes from a musical Big Rapids family and is a folk favorite in the state, both as a soloist and as part of the linked act, "Seth and May" with her husband Seth Bernard. Their daughter, Iris, was born in January.

The Iris effect transformed them both, as people and as artists, she said.

"You're a totally different person," she said of parenthood. "It transforms everything. It's almost indescribable what it does to you."

Words she'd penned and sang on "Where We Are" recorded last year — she was seven months pregnant and it was her seventh album — feel different to her now, she said.

"Where We Are" was released yesterday. She performs June 22 in Traverse City's InsideOut Gallery at 7 p.m., joined by the band on her album; Seth Bernard, Dominic Davis and Joshua Davis (Steppin' In It) Laurel Premo (Red Tail Ring) and percussionist Michael Shimmin.

Erlewine wrote the album after the loss of several young friends and Bernard’s grandmother to disease and tragedy. Erlewine learned she was pregnant in the midst of the heartache — sweet in the bitter.

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