Heather Summers (The Other Years)

Started by Mr. White, Jul 25, 2022, 11:14 PM

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Mr. White

Heather (McAllister) Summers - From her Facebook page: "Heather Summers is a Kentucky native singer and songwriter. She usually finds herself playing in folky, harmony heavy duos with friends, and doesn't usually write about herself in the third person."

I discovered this treasure of a human back in 2016 when she took part in a Strive (Non-Profit Music Therapy group in Louisville that no longer exists) event known as "In The Moment". I took part in this interactive musical event hosted at Strive by Music Therapists Cheyenne Marie Mize and Nina Rodahaffer. Heather was one of several local (Louisville) musicians who donated their time and talent during this monthly event where the musicians would take turns to introduce the songs they were about to perform and invite/instruct the audience to actively participate by playing along with hand drums or various percussion instruments. She went on to form a duo group called The Other Years alongside her friend and fellow Kentucky musician Anna Krippenstaple.

Heather's Bandcamp page


The Other Years Bandcamp page


"The Other Years are Anna Krippenstapel and Heather Summers — two voices riding a single harmonic laser beam, carrying instruments made of wood and skin and bones. They travel light.

There is something pure and strong and ancient in their voices. It reminds people of Jean Ritchie or Hazel Dickens or Karen Dalton. The Other Years are time-travelers — but not from the past. They come from the future with songs about how we're all gonna get through these days.

Fiddle, guitar, banjo, and two human voices. Sometimes Heather and Anna sing together, sometimes they trade off. They leave plenty of space for notes to ring out and words to sink in. Maybe you feel like crying. Beautiful things can cause that.

"There is no evil, there is human / That river don't hate, it just does what it's doing"

This album was recorded over three spring days at a cabin outside Louisville, Kentucky. Daniel Martin Moore was the engineer. Anna is Joan Shelley's longtime fiddle player. The Other Years is Heather's first band. She's a spark. There's plenty of Kentucky cross-pollinating going on. Anna also plays with Freakwater. Louisville's Bonnie 'Prince' Billy has asked The Other Years to tour with him this fall.

In cars and in kitchens and around Old-time music festival campfires, Heather and Anna have been singing together for ten years. Born three days apart – not blood kin, but hatched from neighboring eggs — their voices lock together with a Sara and Maybelle Carter or Everly Brothers sympathetic vibration. It's a sonic convergence that contains more than the individual notes the two are singing — a Sacred Harp "hollow square" where chords are made from the space between the notes. This is a mysterious thing, like splitting an atom or finding infinity in the distance from one to zero.

"Hope is a choice, love has a voice / It's not the leaves or the branches, but the whisper in between"

Their versions of the Appalachian murder ballad "Fair Ellen" — learned from a Jean Ritchie recording — and Michael Hurley's "Wildegeeses" are stunning. There is sorrow and loss in these songs, but there is joy in the singing of them. Michael Hurley is a fan. Heather and Anna probably wouldn't want to say that, but it's ok.

The Other Years are farmers — heartbreaking, hopeful, plowing through the newly-turned earth. Their voices and instruments bend together like plants leaning towards the sun. Names of trees and animals are spoken like incantations. They know how to harvest an acre of sorghum, boil it down and pour it off into a jar — reduce it to its essence. This is what endures.

This is The Other Years. They come from the future. It's gonna be beautiful.

released October 5, 2018"

I've seen The Other years live at several concerts in and around Louisville and have seen Heather perform solo a couple of times as well. I will post videos here in this thread.

During the early days (first 2+ months) of the Pandemic back in 2020, Heather decided to try to help people who were feeling alone, frightened, isolated, and sad feel a little better by posting a new homemade video of herself (and sometimes with friends and collaborators both in person with her and remotely through video conferencing) doing cover songs. She posted these daily covers on her Instagram page.

Heather's Instagram page (Videos Link)


I truly love this beautiful, talented, humble, passionate, and interesting/interested singer/songwriter from Kentucky (by way of West Virginia). Her voice is so pure and cutting in its purity, that I'm sure that if you enjoy folk, bluegrass, and old-timey music, you'll love this woman's stuff!

Here's my first video of The Other Years from their album release show back in late 2018.

The Other Years - Bridges - St. Philip Neri - Louisville - 10/22/2018

The Other Years
Album Release Show
St. Philip Neri
Louisville, Kentucky
Monday, October 22, 2018

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) Member Since 2011


Thank you for the heads up.  She sounds really good, looking forward to checking out some more of the songs!

Mr. White

This is a really good one that features Heather's good friend and former roommate Cheyenne Marie Mize. I love both of these ladies!

Heather Summers and Cheyenne Mize
COVID-19 Lockdown Covers Series
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) Member Since 2011

Mr. White

This one is really good!

Heather Summers - May 3, 2020 - Day 47 - Runs In The Family

Heather Summers with Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg
Day 47 - "Runs In The Family"
My 3, 2020
By The Roches
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) Member Since 2011

Mr. White

Heather Summers and Friends - Lean On Me (Bill Withers Cover)

"Day 17 - April 3, 2020 - "Lean On Me"

RIP Bill Withers. Thank you for sharing your voice and songs with us. I have no doubt this song will live on forever.

Thank you to @littlesissy33 and @christy__oh for singing this with me after working in the fields all day. Thanks to the angels @mpweir for operating the truck and Henry (12yrs old) for being both director and camera man.
Don't worry, this is my pod. We are being safe!"
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) Member Since 2011

Mr. White

Heather Summers
"Red Tailed Hawk"
The Living Room Series Live At The RUD (Formerly The Rudyard Kipling)
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) Member Since 2011