May Erlewine

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May Erlewine
Birth nameMay Erlewine
Also known asDaisy May, Daisy May Erlewine, May Erlewine Bernard
Born (1982-05-13) May 13, 1982 (age 37)
OriginBig Rapids, Michigan
GenresFolk music, blues
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter, social justice activist
LabelsEarthwork Music Collective
Associated actsSeth Bernard, Joshua Davis, The Sweet Water Warblers

May Erlewine (born May 13, 1983) is a musician from Big Rapids, Michigan. She sings and plays the guitar, piano, violin, and other instruments. She is also a songwriter, with over 15 albums of original work published since the beginning of her career, in the early 2000s. Her songs have been covered by other artists, on the local and national music scenes in the United States.

Erlewine is part of the Earthwork Music collective, an independent label that promotes original music from regional artists. Earthwork was founded by Erlewine's former husband, Samuel Seth Bernard, who is a musician and singer-songwriter himself. Erlewine has performed solo, as a duet with Max Lockwood, with the May Erlewine band, with May Erlewine and the Motivations, with the Sweet Water Warblers, and with other bands.


May Erlewine was born to a musical family; her father Michael Erlewine was a member of the Michigan blues band The Prime Movers and her uncle is a luthier.[1] Her work shows a variety of musical influences, such as folk, bluegrass, blues, rock & roll and others. It has grown from her experience as a child, home-schooled and surrounded by music, and as a teenager, when she hitch-hiked across North America, riding freight trains and performing on the streets.[1]

Erlewine has described how her songs are the expression of her experiences.[2] She spends much of each year writing songs and performing in Northern Michigan.[3]

In their 2007 album Big Old Life, the New England band Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem covered one of her songs, "Shine On".[4]

The movie Old Fashioned, released in 2014, included her performance of "Joy", along with the author, Ralston Bowles, in the original soundtrack.[5]

In 2015, "Shine On" was selected and performed by singer Sawyer Fredericks in the final round of NBC's TV show The Voice, which he won.[6][7] Coincidentally, Joshua Davis, a singer-songwriter who is part of May's music collective, Earthwork Music, was also a finalist on The Voice that year; he went all the way to the final round.[8]

Erlewine is featured in the Rise Again song book released in 2016, a sequel[9] to the popular folk music fake book Rise Up Singing, containing chords, lyrics, and sources. The two original May Erlewine songs included in the second edition are: Rise Up Singing, from her 2007 album Mother Moon, and Shine On, from the 2005 Seth & May album, jointly released with her then husband, Seth Bernard.

In late 2018, Erlewine played a series of collaborative shows with fellow singer-songwriters Sav Buist and Katie Larson (both from The Accidentals) and Beth Nielsen Chapman.[10][11]


  • Sleepless (May Erlewine, 2003)
  • Heart Song (May Erlewine, 2004)
  • Seth Bernard and Daisy May (Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, 2005)
  • Mother Moon (May Erlewine, 2007)
  • Snow Songs (May Erlewine, 2008)
  • Welcome Back (Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, 2009)
  • Love Labor (May Erlewine, 2009)
  • Golden (May Erlewine, 2010)
  • Wedding EP (Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, 2011)
  • New Flower (Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, 2011)[12]
  • The Long Way Home (May Erlewine, 2012)
  • We Can Change / Siren Song (Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, 2013)
  • Where We Are (May Erlewine, 2014)[13]
  • Shine On (May Erlewine, 2015)
  • New Flower, Volume 2 (Seth Bernard & May Erlewine, 2015)
  • Lean Into the Wind (May Erlewine, 2016)[14]
  • The Little Things EP (May Erlewine, 2016)
  • With You (The Sweet Water Warblers, 2017)
  • Mother Lion (May Erlewine, 2017)
  • In The Night (The Motivations, 2019)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2011 WYCE Jammie Award "Album of the Year" for Golden[15]
  • 2018 WYCE Jammie Award "Album of the Year" for Mother Lion[16]
  • 2018 WYCE Jammie Award "Song of the Year" for "Never One Thing"[16]


May Erlewine has a daughter named Iris, born in January 2014.[17] Erlewine's former husband is singer-songwriter Samuel Seth Bernard.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "May Erlewine Bio | May Erlewine Career | MTV". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Liberty, John (June 16, 2014). "May Erlewine's new album 'Where We Are' examines loss, grief and rebirth". Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Sinkevics, John (June 22, 2014). "Needtobreathe, May Erlewine, Kanisha K, Founders Fest". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Rodgers, Jeffrey Pepper (August 29, 2007). "Daisy Mayhem: Celebrating a 'Big Old Life'". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Old Fashioned (2014) – Soundtracks – IMDb". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Quan, Denise (May 5, 2015). "'The Voice' Top Six Recap: Unexpected Songs Steal the Show". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Marini, Melissa (May 5, 2015). "'The Voice' Season 8 Top 6: Sawyer Fredericks Gets Praise on Twitter From Original Singer Of 'Shine On'". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "Two Area Artists Featured On "The Voice"". May 6, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Bolles, Dan (October 7, 2015). "Famed Songbook "Rise Up Singing" Gets a Sequel, "Rise Again"". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Tour | Beth Nielsen Chapman". Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Walker, Adrianna (November 26, 2018). "Wealthy Theatre warms soul with stories and songs from Beth Nielsen Chapman, The Accidentals, May Erlewine". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  12. ^ Fryer, Sebastian (November 3, 2011). "Trip to Ethiopia influences new album from Michigan folk duo Seth Bernard, May Erlewine". Kalamazoo Gazette. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  13. ^ "Michigan artist May Erlewine's 7th album "Where We Are" released today". Michigan Radio. June 19, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "May Erlewine—"Lean into the Wind" EP Release Concert, feat. Phil Barry, Max Lockwood, Laurel Premo, & Michael Shimmin". June 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  15. ^ Sinkevics, John (February 16, 2011). "Grand Rapids' Jammie Awards double up: Vincent Hayes Project and May Erlewine tie for album of the year". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Jammies XIX". WYCE. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  17. ^ Batdorff, Allison (June 19, 2014). "New album, new tour, new mom May Erlewine". Traverse City Record-Eagle. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  18. ^ Bonfiglio, Jeremy D. (January 11, 2018). "May Erlewine focuses on matters of the heart". The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  19. ^ Blouin, Lou (February 27, 2018). "May Erlewine, Queen of Michigan's Folk Scene". MyNorth. Retrieved November 28, 2018.

External links[edit]