accordion · acoustic · female singer · swing

Euphonia: The Old Jawbone (MP3)

Sylvia Herold is probably the best folksinger you’ve never heard of. This dynamic and sophisticated vocalist, from the East Bay area of San Francisco, is leader of the folk ensemble known as Euphonia. The group also features mandolinist Paul Kotapish, box player Charlie Hancock, and double bassist Chuck Ervin, and guests. Their material ranges from acoustic swing to traditional Celtic, and anything goes in between, but it’s all pretty.

Euphonia: The Old Jawbone
Euphonia: The Old Jawbone

Euphonia’s latest release is The Old Jawbone, which as far as I can tell is their second offering, although Sylvia has other recordings on her website.  This record is starting to garner some spins on folk music radio stations here in North America, for good reason. On Jawbone she sings songs from Carole King, Gillian Welch, John Hartford, and Stephen Foster, among others, as well as traditional material. Many of the songs are paired with traditional dance melodies, like this one, which combines the song “Let the Bullgine Run” with the Irish hornpipe “The Peacock’s Feather.” What’s a bullgine, you ask? From her liner notes:

‘Bullgine’ (bull + engine) is slang for locomotive or steam engine. In maritime use, it can describe dockside cargo locomotives, ships powered by steam, and even engines used to hoist anchors. This song may have started life as a train song and morphed into the shanty we know today. We learned our version from English folk singer John Roberts.


LISTEN: Let the Bullgine Run (MP3)

Listen/Buy The Old Jawbone

2 thoughts on “Euphonia: The Old Jawbone (MP3)

  1. Sylvia’s Guitars Stolen!

    “Two of my guitars were stolen this week. Naturally, this has been very distressing. If you are someone who goes to jams, music stores, and the like, would you please go to my website ( and take a look at the pictures and full descriptions there? The guitars in question were: a blonde Collings flattop, model “CJ.” It was in a custom, pea-green soft case w/ green leather handles. The other guitar was a mid-brown, archtop, Epiphone in a black soft case. Sometimes instruments come back. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.–Sylvia”

  2. Update from Sylvia:

    We are celebrating the safe return of my Epiphone archtop guitar. Our friend Joe Vineko noticed a listing on E-bay from an Oakland pawnshop. Many thanks, Joe!

    We are still looking for our Collings, blonde, flat-top, model “CJ” acoustic guitar. It was in a pea green soft case with green leather handles. We’re wishing for a speedy and safe return (sans adventure.) You can see pictures and a full description of the guitar on my website:

    Thanks to our dear friends for all your support and vigilance. We’ll keep you posted about the Collings. In the meantime, hooray for the happy return of our peripatetic Epiphone!!!!


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