Heartache is the theme of different view, the thread that binds it all together. Not the shouting, snot-nosed, teary-eyed, early-days heartache, but the quiet one- that feeling of being alone in a crowd, that realization that the person or object or dream you’ve ‘lost’ is still hanging around the back of your mind like an old song drifting on the wind.
A 6th-generation musician raised in Nashville, TN, Charissa’s spent the last ten years on the fringes of many music scenes- the punk rock house shows, the early-morning bluegrass festivals, the high-ceilinged concert halls, the sticky-floored rock clubs. Now she steps forward from the sidelines with a self-produced debut EP, distilling her musical and personal experiences into a narrative of wistfulness, hopefulness, and growth.
“As cliché as it is, the album centers around a painful, drawn-out breakup,” Charissa says. “However, even as I watched that particular relationship crumble, I saw traces of the other losses in my life- the death of my grandmother, the fractured relationships in my extended family, the innocence we lose as we come of age, and of course, the collective trauma we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These songs are my way of stepping back and exploring those feelings as a whole, rather than zeroing in on any one situation.”
Buttonwillow navigates the uncharted waters of fiddle-ukulele duos with a blend of original music and obscure covers ranging from Django Reinhardt to Norwegian folk music. The duo was born when Charissa Hoffman (ukulele) and Lucy Nelligan (fiddle) were the only ones who showed up to the swing jam. After playing two and a half swing songs, Lucy and Charissa realized they also shared a love of poetry, blues, world music, and clawhammer banjo. They are always looking for ways to redefine the limitations of their instruments, and hope their songs encourage listeners to explore new genres and instrumentations.