Ballads have been a source of inspiration for Lindsay Straw since her childhood in Montana, but she truly grew into the art while studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she began to tie together the threads of the traditions she was most passionate about: English, Scottish, Irish and American songcraft. She also founded a young Celtic trad band at the college, The Ivy Leaf, which she draws from to fill out the music on her new second album, The Fairest Flower of Womankind. In addition to her own sensitive, agile accompaniment on guitar and bouzouki, Straw is joined by members of The Ivy Leaf, Daniel Accardi (fiddle), Armand Aromin (fiddle), and Benedict Gagliardi (concertina, harmonica), plus renowned Maine guitarist Owen Marshall (The Press Gang). Throughout, Straw’s tender vocals and careful arrangements draw out the inner depths of these old songs, telling tales of women from beyond the ages. A ballad needs commitment to be told, a belief in the importance of its story. Straw proves that these stories ring with inspiration even today.