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Made in Sweden with Oscar winning cinematographer Rose Bush, STRANGER IN THE BARN is a folktale inspired by ranch life.

"'Stranger in the Barn' is based on a real experience I had at my family's ranch. When we bought it, it had been abandoned by the owners for many years, and after looking around in the barn we realized that someone had been camping out in it, sleeping on the hay by the old saddles. Although we never saw the person who had been staying there, I started to imagine what we would have done if we had encountered that person. I wrote the song as an allegory based on this experience." --Ismay

ISMAY on Western AF

"Ismay aka Avery Hellman bleeds folk music, and this live performance of "The Golden Palomino" is a testament to that. A great songwriter can pull you in. Ismay with their intimate tone and genuine storytelling, grabbed us. Welcome to the odd world charm that is Ismay.


We first caught wind of Ismay when their cover of Norma Tanega's "You're Dead" came into our view. It honestly was a curious search for renditions of this great tune from the TV show "What We Do In The Shadows," and Ismay's stood out. If you're lost and don't know what I'm talking about, then prepare to be amazed and check out that cover on their youtube page. The amazement didn't stop there. As we dove deeper into their portfolio, it was obvious that this prolific songwriter is also a curious historian of the arts.


Even being the center of a documentary called, "Finding Lucinda" that is about tracing the roots of Lucinda Williams. This is beyond the fact that they work on their family farm in California and have a vast knowledge of all ranching life. Songwriter, farmer, historian. Three things that make Ismay olympic in our eyes. For now, we hope their songwriting stands out to y'all and whisps y'all away like it has us."

- Western AF

OneMic Series

The OneMic series was produced and engineered by John Cuniberti, and filmed by Nathaniel Kohfield. The performance was recorded in a single live take on one microphone, with no editing of the video or audio.

I Called You Up, The Lonely Stallion, and Where Did it Begin are unreleased original songs..

The Lone Prairie Sessions

The Lone Prairie Sessions were recorded live at Prairie Sun Studios in February of 2021. These live performances feature some of our favorite songs by our favorite artists, including Peter Rowan, Paul Burch, and Peggy Seeger.

A Neanderthal Records Production

Vocals and Guitar: Avery Hellman Mandolin: Andrew Fahlander Hellman Bass and Harmony Singing: Scott Padden

Sound Engineer: Nate Nauseda Mastering: JJ Golden at Golden Mastering

You're Dead | Norma Tanega Cover

Cover of Norma Tanega's song 'You're Dead' originally released in 1966 on the album 'Walkin' My Cat Named Dog'


This live performance is from ISMAY's project 'Songs of Sonoma Mountain', which includes a series of live performances of cover songs all on their family ranch on Sonoma Mountain in Northern California.

Drums: Rob Mills Bass: Owen Clapp Vocals & Electric Guitar: Avery Hellman Video: Pint of Soul, Dan Foldes

Live Performances from Songs of Sonoma Mountain


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