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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Partington & Sweeney Release "Commonplaces"

Rhode Island acoustic duo Partington & Sweeney join forces as a music duo devoted to folk and popular traditions in American music and the arts.

Commonplaces is inspired by the centuries-old practise of commonplacing or recording wisdom and ideas for later recollection in notebooks that bear the name "commonplace."

Mary Lee Partington & Ed Sweeney tell stories of immigrants, farmers, and factory workers during 19th & 20th century America, where self-educated mill girls earn their own keep, an orphan endures to tell her tale, where old ballads have taken root and where migrants go farther west. These songs and tunes stand on common ground where old ballads have taken root and where the future will send folks ever further westward into the dusty testing ground of the 1930s and beyond.

Mary Lee Partington is an award-winning New England-based singer, writer, and event-maker. Mary Lee was the voice, songwriter, and tunesmith for the internationally acclaimed New England-based group Pendragon for more than 25 years. In addition, Mary Lee's award-winning music was featured in the National Park Service series Along the Blackstone. She performs as part of American folk music duo Partington & Sweeney or in ensemble with All-Ireland fiddler Sheila Falls & All-Ireland piper Torrin Ryan.

Ed Sweeney is a solo musician who performs nationally and internationally. Ed Sweeney honors people and their history by presenting music that entertains as well as educates. He uses his musical expertise, breadth of knowledge, and wonderful sense of humor to help listeners come to understand the motivations, stories, and culture that have made us what we are today. His eclectic interests (traditional, blues, old-timey, ragtime, Christmas, Beatles…) are represented in his performances and recordings. What Lies Ahead, his previous recording with Pipa master Yang Wei and other members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, represents a musical collaboration where Eastern and Western traditions meet. Ed’s music has been heard on television soundtracks, Ken BurnsNot For Ourselves Alone, and even as background music in Disneyland Paris. Ed’s recordings, which have earned top reviews, have been featured on NPR and other radio networks.


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