The majestic folkster Lael Neale performed at Bonnaroo this year.
So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked some questions.
You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?
“I went as a guest once in 2012 which was overwhelmingly fun. I feel exhilarated and bewildered and grateful to get to actually play it this time around.”
What’s your go-to outfit for music festivals?
“A light, bright mini-dress. I never wear them otherwise, but they take up no space to pack and make for an easy, cool outfit.”
What do you want your audience to experience during your set at Bonnaroo?
“The experience I seek when I go hear someone perform is resonance; that small bell that rings in your chest when you hear something true. Something that you have felt but never put into words or sound. For the audience to connect in that way, that is the best I could hope for.”
How did you choose the title for your latest album I’ll Be Your Man?
“It sounds good. It feels good to say. It is standing behind Leonard Cohen, but never touching.”
How did you find its producer Marlon Rabenreither?
“His band was playing at a bar a few years ago and I heard his voice cutting through the loud, obnoxious crowd. I got tunnel vision. I knew I had to know him. We connected on many levels. Music being a huge part of that. It is special and rare to record with someone with whom you share a mutual respect and understanding.”
Your sound is often melancholic yet simultaneously beautiful. Can you explain how your songwriting is able to capture this dichotomy?
“I don’t think there is a dichotomy between beauty and melancholy. They are perfectly linked. Beauty is often fleeting and there is a pang of sadness even at the moment that we see or hear something beautiful because we know it won’t last. More than anything else, my songs are trying to cope with this knowledge that nothing I am or have will stay. The best I can do is to celebrate and mourn simultaneously.”
What can you tell us about your next release?
“Maybe we should ask a magic 8 ball.”