Concert Heartstrings Interview

Hey Hey, an Interview with Della Mae

This Friday, Della Mae arrives on Long Island for an evening concert at the BACCA Center in Lindenhurst, brought to you by our very own Heartstrings Presents and The Bluegrass Club of Long Island. Della Mae is comprised of Kimber Ludiker, Jenni Lyn Gardner, Celia Woodsmith and Courtney Hartman. In just five years, the group has released three albums, including Built This Heart, Grammy-nominated This World Oft Can Be and their recent, self-titled Della Mae. Ludiker started the band, and tells The Bluegrass Situation how her idea and Della Mae came to be:

She came up with the concept largely in response to the lack of female side musicians in touring bands, particularly in the bluegrass community. And, well, she thought it would be fun. At first Ludiker called the band Big Spike Hammer, taken from the Osborne Brothers song. A moving lineup of women wore power suits and played high-testosterone bluegrass with the entirely made-up name, “mangrass.”

Soon, however, the band dazzled audiences and became wildly successful, and changed their moniker to Della Mae (also a reference to The Osborne Brothers’ “Big Spike Hammer” — Listen).

These women have since toured all over the world, as cultural ambassadors for the US Department of State’s American Music Abroad program, and thus, have inspired hundreds of thousands, and perhaps even millions, of individuals with their talent and dedication. We couldn’t be more excited to host Della Mae this coming weekend, just before they head back to Nashville for the Americana Music Association’s AmericanaFest.

The show takes place this Friday at the BACCA Center (149 Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst), and starts at 6:30 PM with a bluegrass jam and Della Mae at 8 PM! So grab your tickets, and your fiddle, and join us!

Tickets can be found at the following links: and

The name Della Mae comes from The Osbourne Brothers’ “Big Spike Hammer” — why did the character Della Mae stand out to you?

We were looking for a feminine but strong name for the band, and we wanted something that didn’t involve “grass” or “boys” in the title. In “Big Spike Hammer,” Della Mae is a strong female character and that’s what drew us to her.

What is the songwriting process like for Della Mae? How does a song take shape?

The songwriting process for Della Mae usually begins when Courtney or Celia bring a song to the table that they’ve been working on. At that point the skeleton of the song gets fleshed out with everyone’s input. Its a group effort!

How did you get involved as cultural ambassadors for the US Department of State’s American Music Abroad (AMA) program?

We auditioned to be part of AMA, just like everyone else. We had some friends who did the program and it came highly recommended. Once we did one tour, we got involved in several others because they are so life changing.

Can you describe one of your most memorable experiences while abroad?

We have so many memorable experiences, it’s hard to pick just one. One of our favorite stories was when we had just arrived to Islamabad, Pakistan and were playing at a women’s college. A lot of the young women had never seen live music before and just before the show we kept hearing screaming and pounding on the doors, finally the security guards decided to let them all in early because they were afraid they’d break down the doors in their excitement. We had a fantastic first show there and met some lovely young ladies there!


Why did you choose Sound Emporium in Nashville to record your latest album and what was the experience like?

We wanted to record this album with producer Jaquire King, who lives in Nashville and he suggested Sound Emporium as the place to do it. It worked out well considering two of us live there already!

What do you do when you’re not doing music?

We mostly do music even when we’re off the road! BUT we have a lot of hobbies including cooking, hiking, teaching camps, crossfit, spending time with family and exploring the great cities we live in!

Any secret talents?

Celia can take cheek slap solo’s and Zoe is a fantastic mixed media artist!

Any artist recommendations?

The Stray Birds, Sarah Siskind, Robert Ellis, Rubblebucket, Lake Street Dive.

If you could one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

Go see live music and buy CD’s! It will make you happier and supports the artist.

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