BIO / ACTS
Meredith Axelrod is a singer and multi instrumentalist who specializes in American roots music. As a solo artist, she has headlined her own shows at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, CA, opened for the Cheap Suit Serenaders at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, and toured as far as Australia and New Zealand. Because of her distinctive voice and style of singing, Meredith was featured on the weekly public radio series Voice Box with Chloe Veltman. Last year, Meredith was on staff and performed at Centrum Voice Works in Port Townsend. Also, she was on staff at California Coast Music Camp.
Often, Meredith will perform with string virtuoso Craig Ventresco; they perform at venues and festivals which include the Freight & Salvage, the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival. She appears in various cooperations, with string band solo act dynamo Frank Fairfield, and jug band sensation Jim Kweskin, to name a few.
The common thread throughout Meredith’s repertoire is that, whatever the genre, blues, country, jazz, or pop, these are songs she learns from 78 records which were issued between the 1890s and the 1930s.
“Meredith Axelrod sings and plays guitar as if she really returned to the pre-mic days. We’re not talking revisionist copy of so and so from way back when; we’re talking as if we plucked an original out of the era and time-traveled her to bless us with a taste of who we were when we had guts.” – JL Stiles
“It takes more than passion to do what Meredith does. It takes guts; conviction. She is unflinchingly committed to authentic recreation of the tunes in her repertoire–swampy blues and early American roots music… [Upon listening] What I found was ear-opening. First, my instinct that she had faithfully reproduced the vocal qualities and string performances of this era was confirmed, and second, it compelled me to add to my library a whole new collection of rich, undeniably American, music.” – Gary Rametta
Meredith Axelrod is a versatile singer of early jazz and pre-1930s American pop music who enjoys delivering performances in many different contexts. She plays guitar, ukulele, cello, and other instruments. As a guitarist, her playing explodes with energy and vintage rhythms. She has performed with Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, Jeff Muldaur, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot, Cindy Cashdollar, David Grisman, Bill Keith, Terry Zwigoff, Robert Crumb, the Cheap Suit Serenaders, and Craig Ventresco, and at venues around the United States and internationally, including The Great American Music Hall, the Freight and Salvage, and Jazz at Pearl’s, the San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins, as well as at the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival. She has toured domestically and internationally, and has a few acts:
2. Duo act with string virtuoso Craig Ventresco
3. Collaborations w/ Other Singers
I love to make up spontaneous harmonies and do weird vocalizations behind other singers.
4. Early Jazz / Trad Jazz / Hot Jazz
– Meredith leads a band that plays early jazz at dances and festivals
3b. 1920s Pop
4. Ragtime and Ragtime-Contemporary-Pop / Tin Pan Alley
5. Hillbilly 1920s and 1930s Country Americana Blues
Meredith sings, plays guitar, cello, kazoo, and jug in The Get Happy String Band
And also she plays cello and guitar and sings in the Sneaky Freaky String Band with Suzy & Eric Thompson and Craig Ventresco.
Additionally, Meredith Axelrod and her Wayfaring Strangers is a larger outfit of a string band act.
5b. Jug Bands
which shouldn’t be a category; they’re just string bands that happen to have a jug in them. Meredith plays jug, and was hired as the jug player in the Kweskin Jug Band 50th Anniversary shows in 2013.