Stepping back into the spotlight after a decade away takes an unusually high degree of musical integrity. For folk-rock pioneer Burlap to Cashmere, a band that built a reputation for both exceptional studio projects and as an unyielding touring act in the late ‘90s, that integrity shines through.
In 1998 the band released the critically acclaimed debut Anybody Out There? After a whirlwind of tours, awards and an ever-growing fan base, they did what no one expected. They disappeared.
For more than a decade, a Burlap to Cashmere reunion seemed like wishful thinking. In 2005, tragedy struck when guitarist John Philippidis was beaten and left for dead after a road rage incident near his home in Brooklyn. An extended hospital visit, which included a full month in a coma and radical facial reconstructive surgery, ultimately sparked a band reunion.
In 2010 the band headed into the studio with acclaimed producer Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Tom Waits) to begin work on new material. His rules were simple: “There would be no nudging and no Auto-Tuning. We’re going into this to capture everything that’s organic about the band.”
With its core lineup intact – singer/guitarist/songwriter Steven Delopoulos, guitarist John Philippidis, and drummer Theodore Pagano — Burlap to Cashmere returns with renewed focus, drive and energy. “There’s something about family and people you’ve known forever that makes the chemistry happen,” Delopoulos says. “There’s a sense of honesty and trust. That’s Burlap to Cashmere.”
“For me, Burlap to Cashmere is a classic band in the best sense of the word,” says Froom. “From the great songwriting and singing, to the deep and accomplished musicianship, they are absolutely a distinctive band. This is particularly apparent in the songs that incorporate their unique approach to traditional Greek rhythms. All you have to do is listen once to ‘Don't Forget To Write’, and it's abundantly clear - you've never heard anything quite like it. We also set out to make a record that put musical feeling and performance at a premium - live singing and playing, no click tracks, etc. Developing this kind of hybrid sound in the studio was a big challenge for everyone involved, but ultimately, what else do you hope for?"
Recalling the musical intimacy of Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel, coupled with Delopoulos’ introspective and poetic songwriting, the album announces Burlap to Cashmere’s triumphant return in a record that will surprise longtime fans and intrigue the uninitiated.
Fans of modern troubadour outfits like the Avett Brothers will find common ground with Burlap to Cashmere’s output, with the added textures of the Greek and Mediterranean influences further fleshing out the band’s unique take on 21st Century folk-rock music.
Praise for Burlap to Cashmere
“Brooklyn’s Burlap to Cashmere took its modern folk-rock to the masses in 1998 with its major-label debut, Anybody Out There? – and followed up that Dove Award-winning effort with a nearly decade-long hiatus. In the time the band has been away, a similar blend of worldly folk has made stars out of acts such as Fleet Foxes. Burlap to Cashmere looks to reclaim that turf in top form, with an inspired blend of Mediterranean rhythms, rootsy textures and tight-knit harmonies, which lend the unmistakable air of folk-rock greats Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens.”
- The Tennessean
“Coupled with the Burlaps’ expert musicianship [Delopoulos’ lyrics] sound colorful, passionate, ambitious, and warm—just like the rest of this wonderful album.”
- Pop Matters
"The New York band that all but vanished after 1998 debut Anybody Out There? makes a triumphant return with core players in place and a largely acoustic album of sumptuous and exotic melodies, tight harmonies and poetic lyrics.”
- USA Today
“Their self-titled sophomore disc finds BTC no less adventurous, no less melodious, and no less influential, proving that no one else quite has the chops to mix '60s-style acoustic folk with Greek rhythms, flamenco guitar, and influences from James Taylor to Cat Stevens to Van Morrison.”