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The Dublin-based roots band coaxes the past into the present with original songs that draw from the best of Irish storytelling and American folk music.
The band is fronted by siblings Dave (guitar) and Louise (vocals) Holden who have been writing together for two decades. In 2008 the pair teamed up with violinist Adrian Hart, clawhammer banjo player Colin Derham, and double bassist Konrad Liddy to form I Draw Slow.
The band has played to audiences in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and performed at many North American festivals including MerleFest, Pickathon, Wintergrass, RockyGrass, Grey Fox, Red Wing, Edmonton Folk Fest, Sisters Folk Festival and Mountain Stage. It was their 2014 performace at MerleFest that first put the band on the radar for Compass co-founders Garry West and Alison Brown, who were impressed with the band’s performance and the reaction from buyers in the MerleFest merch tent.
First, we noticed how they got the crowd involved in what they were doing. Their energy is truly infectious,” says West. “Then we noticed that their CDs and merchandise were flying off the shelves in the festival store. That kind of immediate response is always going to get our attention! But more than anything we’ve been impressed with the strength of the songwriting, the sibling harmony and the musical proficiency of the band. They are truly dedicated to their craft.”
Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, each well-known and loved for their decades of music making, come together to give a concert of contemporary and traditional songs and tunes. Cindy is a superb singer, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Grey is one of America’s finest players of the Irish flute and tin whistle, as well as an accomplished singer and concertina, fiddle, piano and harmonium player. As composers each contributes to the unique tapestry of contemporary folk and world music in America today. Together they weave their music with vibrant colors and subtle textures.
Scott Alarik of The Boston Globe calls Cindy “…one of folk music’s most respected songwriters… provocative, heartwise, and original …a brilliant guitarist… ” while Grey’s playing has been called “positively spellbinding” (The New Mexico Daily, Albuquerque, NM) and “exceptionally exceptional” (The Spectator, Raleigh-Durham, NC).
The duo’s repertoire includes Cindy’s sparkling original songs, distinctive settings of traditional Irish music, Scandinavian fiddle duets, old-time fiddle and guitar tunes from southern Indiana, and new music that Cindy and Grey are inventing together. There is plenty of variety and breadth of musical territory here, all deeply rooted in folk traditions, and interwoven with the renaissance and baroque counterpoint in which both Cindy and Grey were immersed while growing up. Included are vocal duets, guitar, Irish flute, Irish alto flute, tin whistle, concertina, harmonium, and duet fiddling, along with plenty of stories that put the music into a personal context. Their newest album, Welcome Day, was released in 2015, and joins Cross the Water and a CD single, “Back When We Were All Machines.”
Grey’s popular books on Irish flute and tin whistle are the most comprehensive and innovative in print today, selling more than 15,000 copies to date worldwide. His two most recent books address Irish music more broadly, embracing the interests of all Irish music players. Grey plays the wooden Irish flute with a distinctive sound that many feel is his alone. His recordings showcase this dark, silky, reflective flute voice as well as his mastery of fiddle, anglo concertina, piano, and harmonium. His music encompasses the traditions of Appalachia, southern Indiana, Scandinavia and Québec in addition to Ireland. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Grey is a schooled composer. He brings the clarity of renaissance and baroque counterpoint into his creations and collaborations.
For more on Cindy and Grey, please visit www.kalletlarsen.com where you may listen to
their music for free and view videos of their performances.
Original and Traditional, harmonized poetry songs, lots of humor.
This incredible duo are our best friends from where we lived in the bay area. That could make us partial, but indeed they make some of the most beautiful acoustic music you will ever hear. Marla is my idol. She is one of the foremost Irish mandolin players in the world. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Bruce is the funniest guy we know, a great guitarist with a side hobby as a psychiatrist. They are a songwriting duo that layers incredible sounds and virtuosity with their clever and brilliant songs. They use musical settings of a broad array of poetry that they sing in harmony, original instrumental pieces, and traditional Irish tunes and songs. Aryeh recorded their first album in our home studio and whenever they play, we get to sit in. You will get to hear an unusual array of strings — fine guitars in varied tunings, mandola, mandolin, bouzouki, cittern, tenor guitar — and their blended voices. More about their music: http://www.noctambulemusic.com/us
Go to https://lisalynne.com/cedarhouse-concerts/ for location details.
A house concert is an excellent place to hear and meet great musicians in a very intimate setting.
This fresh new trio from the heart of Conamara, Ireland combines Irish music and an intriguing blend of modern folk influences to produce a rich sound and exciting experience to delight listeners.
Featuring an unusual line-up of flute, whistles, harp, bodhrán, guitar and vocals (with some Irish dancing steps thrown in!), HighTime make a youthful and energetic statement.
Equal measures of music and tradition from old Ireland coupled with bold new arrangements make for a tasty platter of story, music, song and dance from these three young men; All hailing from the village of Ardmore on the rugged west coast.
Ciarán Bolger is an entertainer, singer and guitarist from Garraí Árd in the village of Ardmore in Conamara. Learning whistle and traditional sean-nós singing at a young age, Ciarán developed a love and respect for the music tradition of Conamara. Focusing on guitar in his teens, Ciarán explored a mixture of traditional and contemporary music. This exploration has formed the basis for his emotive vocals and also his vibrant and expressive guitar style; drawing inspiration from a multitude of genres.
Conall Flaherty is a multi-instrumentalist and singer hailing from South Conamara in the village of Ardmore. Growing up in an area famed for its musicians, singers and dancers, it wasn’t long before Conall turned to music and singing at the young age of four. He learned the ropes from neighbour, fellow flute player and maker, Marcus Hernon who also made the flutes which Conall plays today.
Séamus Flaherty’s skills in dancing, singing and playing instruments reflect his personality. At only nineteen years old, Séamus meets each discipline with a passion and quiet zeal backed up by a love of the traditional Irish music heritage. Since the age of sixteen, he has been making waves in the fields of music, dance and singing across the globe; performing in China, U.S.A, Canada, The United Kingdom, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and France. He had the privilege of performing more recently alongside Cherish the Ladies at the world renowned Celtic Connections in 2017.
A young Sicilian artist left Italy over 30 years ago, with the dream of “playing with the greatest guitarists”. Peppino has achieved his dream and he’s now firmly planted in the “who’s who” of the guitar world.
Peppino D’Agostino emerged on the acoustic guitar scene in the early 80’s as a leading member of the second wave of the great fingerstylists that helped redefine the instrument in the ’90s. His remarkable technique, penchant for open tunings, and percussive effects are the basis of his unique compositional style which has been inspiring musicians and audiences alike for decades. Add to that his natural warmth, playfulness, and broad musical tastes and you have the recipe for what he calls “minestrone music”. His virtuosity and his emotional charge have also had a significant influence on the younger generation of fingerstyle guitarists. D’Agostino continues to evolve and grow in ways that would have been hard to predict when he first showcased his melodic yet emotionally intense style on the recordings Acoustic Spirit, Close to the Heart, and Every Step of the Way which was named one of the top three acoustic guitar albums of all time by Acoustic Guitar magazine readers.
Doors open 6pm with a potluck reception.
A house concert is an excellent opportunity to hear great music in a very intimate setting.
16th Annual FAR-West 2019 Music Conference
FAR-West, one of five regions of Folk Alliance International, celebrates folk music through our annual conference. We invite you to join us this October — to listen, celebrate, recognize, and enjoy the richness of folk music in the West. Our regional conference offers an affordable, intimate and interactive way for acoustic artists and presenters to focus on the folk community in the western region of the US and Canada. Join us for four days of music, learning and connecting. We welcome a wide variety of styles, levels and disciplines, encouraging musical and cultural diversity and excellence.
Immigration is a powerful topic for Che Apalache bandleader Joe Troop. A polymath, polyglot, and world traveller, Troop left home at a young age, emigrating from this country in search of a better life. Raised in the North Carolina Piedmont, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Troop came of age to the music of bluegrass and all-night jam sessions at festivals, but being a young, queer man in the South, at a certain point he no longer felt welcome in his own home region. He took refuge abroad, traveling Europe and immersing himself in his two great loves: music and language. He studied Spanish in Spain, spent summers in Morocco, and eventually moved to Japan to teach English. He carried his music and his fiddle with him always, picking up elements of flamenco, jazz manouche, and swing. In 2010, Joe immigrated to Argentina, and, looking to make friends and build a scene, he began teaching bluegrass.
Nine years later, Che Apalache, led by Troop, features three powerhouse Latin American musicians – two from Argentina, Franco Martino (guitar), Martin Bobrik (mandolin), and Pau Barjau (banjo) from Mexico – and has been taking audiences by storm with their fusion of Latin and American roots music. Famed banjo player and cross-genre trailblazer Béla Fleck was so taken with the band that he signed on to produce their new album, Rearrange My Heart, coming August 9, 2019 on Free Dirt Records. “I love to work with music that intrigues, excites and inspires me,” Fleck explains, “and that describes Che Apalache to a T! We first met at my Blue Ridge Banjo Camp last year. They had come from Buenos Aires and asked to play for me. I was blown away and they blew away the crowd a few days later. It’s been a blast to get to know them in the creative environment; together we’ve come up with what I believe is a truly striking album. I hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed producing.”
With Béla Fleck as producer and a new album on its way, Che Apalache is a success story, but Troop hasn’t returned to the States after over a decade abroad to comfort listeners. He’s here to challenge the narrative, to speak directly on what American policies and perspectives are doing to the world. “We’re trying to take our message to the people who most need to hear it.” Troop explains. “We want to have respectful dialogue with people that aren’t coming from the same place we are, and we want to challenge their way of thinking.” Opening with a traditional greeting in the Uruguayan murga style before segueing into the song “María,” which has touches of candombe, flamenco and Spanish Sephardic Jewish music, Che Apalache’s global sensibilities are clear. The heart of the album, though, lies with the powerful song “The Dreamer,” written about Troop’s friend Moises Serrano. A queer North Carolinian immigrant from Mexico and a DACA recipient, Serrano was raised in the same region as Troop. “The Dreamer” states Che Apalache’s mission: subvert the narrative from within. “We’re reeling people in with music they understand,” Troop explains, “but then we give them a twist. This is all intentional, I’ve had years living outside this country to think about how to do this.” The power of the subversion lies in how well Troop understands Appalachian and Southern audiences, and also in an honest love for the music. The band spent years perfecting Stanley Brothers-style harmonies, trying to get the sound just right. They then married that sound with brutally honest lyrics lamenting Trump’s rhetoric for “The Wall.” This level of subversion brings its own risks though. They sang the song at a famous Virginia fiddler’s convention the same day that Nazis marched in the streets of nearby Charlottesville, and had to drop everything and run for safety when an enraged audience member stormed the backstage to attack them.
Che Apalache was formed to enjoy music, to honor it, and to bridge the gap between North and South America, creating a vision of a truly “American” music. Through the controversy and the political fire that fuels Che Apalache’s music, Troop hasn’t lost sight of what first inspired him, the first moment he fell in love with the music. At just fourteen years old, in a small diner in Boone, North Carolina, he heard a humble man playing with his friends and family. That man was Doc Watson. For Troop and Che Apalache to come full circle and to create a new album with another legend of bluegrass, Béla Fleck, that’s the American dream that Che Apalache embodies.
Dàimh, Gaelic Supergroup and unchallenged champion, play straight in the eye Highland music and are based around West Lochaber and the Isle of Skye.
Formed around the turn of the century and taking the name from the Gaelic word for kinship Dàimh (pronounced Dive) have taken their contemporary take of Highland and Gaelic music to over 20 countries, setting audiences alight from Moscow to San Francisco.
With a reputation as giants of the Bagpipes and Fiddle, Angus Mackenzie and Gabe McVarish lead the melodic powerhouse with fellow founder member Ross Martin underpinning the groove on the Guitar. The Band is joined by new guy Murdo Yogi Cameron on Mandola and Accordion to complete the instrumental line up.
Recent accolades include last year’s award for the “Best Folk Band in Europe” at the prestigious Folkherbst competition in Germany and most recently winner of “Folk Band of the Year” at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards.
A Scottish Heritage Week celebration
Glasgow born Alan has been taking Scottish folk music all over the world since 1975. He joined the fledgling Battlefield Band in 1969 while studying at Strathclyde University and subsequently recorded almost 30 albums with this hard-working and enduring band, in that time garnering a reputation for his playing and his singing. His groundbreaking keyboard work helped cement the band’s reputation as one of the most influential Celtic bands of its generation. With the band Alan toured the world, bringing Scottish traditional music to audiences in five continents and playing in many prestigious music festivals and venues. Along with former Battlefield Band colleagues he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in November 2016 in recognition of their contribution to Scots traditional music.
He began composing songs and tunes in the 1980s and from 1990 was the band’s principal songwriter. His songs are noted for their strong storytelling element whilst being firmly grounded in Scots history and tradition. His songbook ”Martyrs, Rogues and Worthies”, was published in 2001 and in 2009 he was nominated in the ‘Composer of the Year’ category at the Scots Traditional Music Awards.
In 2010 he left the ‘Batties,’ to concentrate on his duo with guitarist/singer Rob van Sante. He composed all the music for the duo’s third album, ”The Adventures of John Paul Jones’, which told the story of the Scots born mariner who was a hero for the American colonists during the American Revolutionary War. A presentation of the album (with drama written by Alan) was performed at the 2012 Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. The duo also developed a multi-media show telling Jones’ story which was showcased at Mystic Seaport Sea Festival in Connecticut in 2015.
2014 saw his music featured in the National Theatre of Scotland’s award winning production of “The Glasgow Girls” musical about asylum seekers, while his singing and speaking talents were featured in “The Life and Times of Scrooge”, the solo album of Finnish rock star Tuomas Holopainen of metal band Nightwish. That same year Alan and Rob’s fourth CD “Rough Diamonds” was released and was followed by “The Dear Green Place” in 2017. The duo continues to tour Europe, North America and Australia.
In recent years Alan has taught Scots Song at the prestigious annual “Swannanoa Gathering” in North Carolina, USA. He was also a guest artist in the Linn Records mammoth 12 CD recording of the songs of Robert Burns, Scotland’s beloved National Poet, whose poems, songs and music have endured over the centuries.
As well as the recordings with Battlefield Band and with Rob Van Sante, Alan has released two solo albums, “The Sunlit Eye” and “Recollection”.
A Scottish Heritage Week celebration
Ryan McKasson and Eric McDonald are masters of tradition who purposefully explore the dark corners floating on its edges. Their individual artistry is enhanced when together. In short, the sum creates a greater whole. The result is an alluring complexity, full of spontaneous musicality. Pulling from parallel strands of influence, they create a swirling level of intensity that traverses darkness, light, and everywhere in between. An air of mystery pervades a sound compelling enough to transcend boundaries and appeal to music lovers of all stripes. Devon Leger of Hearth Music says, “This duo really shows how two masterful musicians listen and play off each other.” The music this duo creates is to share, and live performance is the forte. Their mutual attitude stretches beyond the music. The two have been good friends ever since they met, and this is present in their live performances, which are full of organic banter and good humor to go along with the music. They create an environment of their own design, drawing in listeners without pretense. Despite both living active musical lives thousands of miles apart these two musicians have committed to working together to forge a new musical path.
Ryan McKasson has gained a strong reputation as a performer, composer,collaborator and teacher. In 1994, he began attending Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School (VOM), which led him deep into the world of traditional music. In 1996 he became the youngest ever to win the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship and in 1997 he was awarded a Merit Scholarship for Viola Performance from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Donald McInnes. Ryan’s professional career took a step forward when in 2004 he spearheaded the formation and development of “The McKassons”. This group released two critically acclaimed albums, Tall Tales (2004) and Tripping Maggie (2006). Over the years Ryan has recorded with a number of influential artists, namely his playing appears on fellow Scottish fiddle champion Hanneke Cassel’s three albums Silver (2006), For Reasons Unseen (2009), and Dot the Dragon’s Eyes (2013), as well as Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas’s recording Highlander’s Farewell (2011). In addition to McKasson & McDonald, other current projects include MAC, Ensemble Galilei and The Syncopaths.
Eric McDonald found his way to traditional music through the rich local music scene in his hometown Boston. Nearly a decade after studying at Berklee College of Music under world renowned musicians such as guitarist/mandolinist John McGann and cellist Eugene Friesene, he is now established as one of the USA’s premier accompanists in many styles. Eric cut his teeth playing for contra dances in New England, and can still often be seen from the dance floor. Nowadays he is an active session player, regularly recording and traveling with musicians of many stripes. Touring credits include The Outside Track, Andrea Beaton, Wendy MacIsaac and Katie McNally. In addition to McKasson & McDonald, he can currently be seen touring with the lively trio Daymark, Scottish powerhouse Cantrip, and award winning singer/songwriter Connor Garvey. In addition to guitar accompaniment, Eric’s debut solo album Rove features his unique style and approach to tunes on the mandolin, as well as carefully crafted deliveries of traditional ballads on voice and guitar.
A Scottish Heritage Week celebration
Effervescent and engaging, Boston-based fiddler Hanneke Cassel is a performer, teacher and composer whose career spans over two decades. She has graced stages across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Her style fuses influences from the Isle of Skye and Cape Breton Island with Americana grooves and musical innovations, creating a cutting-edge acoustic sound that retains the integrity and spirit of the Scottish tradition. Hanneke’s music is a blend of the contemporary and traditional, described by the Boston Globe as “exuberant and rhythmic, somehow wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness.”
Hanneke Cassel’s new release Trip to Walden Pond (April 2017) features traditional Scottish and Cape Breton tunes and seventeen new pieces composed in the Scottish idiom. While her lively style is very much evident, this new album carries a deep, soulful sound with songs of celebration and farewell. Trip to Walden Pond, similar to Hanneke’s five previous albums, offers mellifluous arrangements of traditional fiddle music and original tunes that evoke humor and heart. This latest album also includes several compositions penned by Hanneke as commissions to benefit Many Hopes, a children’s education nonprofit based in Kenya that she avidly supports.
A native of Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke started out as a Texas-style fiddler and went on to win the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, which awarded her the opportunity to study with Alasdair Fraser and introduced her to fiddle camps and the folk community — both of which continue to play an integral role in her life. Hanneke teaches regularly at Fraser’s Valley of the Moon and Sierra Fiddle Camps, the Mike Block String Camp (run by her husband, acclaimed cellist Mike Block), Harald Haugaard’s International Fiddle School, and the West Denmark Fiddle School. She has served as a guest instructor in the American Roots department at Berklee College of Music, where she received her Bachelor’s of Music in Violin Performance.
The Hanneke Cassel Band features Mike Block on cello/vocals and Christopher Lewis on guitar/vocals. Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, singer, composer, and educator. Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st-Century”, Mike is part of the Grammy-award winning Silk Road Ensemble, a graduate of the Juilliard School, and an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music. Canadian native Christopher Lewis provides the driving guitar sound in the band. A Berklee College of Music alum, Christopher has been involved with album production and performance in the Boston indie rock scene and is a regular part of Boston’s Park Street Church Sunday Night worship team.
The Gothard Sisters are a dynamic group of three sisters, whose impressive array of talents have set them apart as one of the most refreshing and compelling acts in Celtic music today.
The sisters’ unpredictable and theatrical flair brings a youthful splash to the time-honored tradition of Celtic folk music, bridging the gap between modern Pop and Folk-Rock with a sunny, optimistic style that has been described as “beautifully-arranged, melodic-minded Celtic Folk-Pop.”
Blending Celtic, folk, classical, world and northwest musical influences, the Gothard Sisters bring songs to life with violin, acoustic guitar, mandolin, bodhran, djembe, octave violin, whistle and vocal harmonies, creating music that is “vivid, inspirational and captivating.” (Tim Carroll, Folk Words Review 2018)
Hitting the streets of their hometown – Edmonds, Washington – in 2006, The Gothard Sisters first began playing together as a violin trio busking for tips at the local farmer’s market, working their way onto stages at local fairs and festivals. Audiences responded with enthusiasm, and over 1,000 performances later the band recently performed at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., completed several national concert tours of the United States, regularly perform as guest entertainers on Disney Cruise Line in Europe and South America and are well-known musicians on the national Celtic festival circuit.
In December 2016 The Gothard Sisters charted on Billboard’s World Music Chart with their latest Christmas album, Falling Snow, alongside notable Irish music phenomena Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder.
play grand Norwegian folk music with relentless energy and seductive spark taking you on a fantastic musical journey guaranteed to excite you. Ranging from the very dreamy to a swinging, pounding and sweaty madness – you are invited to the party, greeted by a welcoming primal force that pulls you into the dance.
SVER has often been described as “sounding electric without electricity”, and their flexible musicianship has also made them an attractive backing band for some of Scandinavia’s leading singers in different genres. That has lead to playing on TV-shows, big festivals and positions in the radio charts with the music ranging from folk to reggae/dancehall and rap. Their imaginative soundscapes, grooves, and melodies will take you on a journey over the Norwegian fjords and mountains, into the lively pubs and back out into the deep forest of their musicality.
SVER consists of Olav Luksengård Mjelva (fiddle and hardangerfiddle), Anders Hall (fiddle and viola), Leif Ingvar Ranøien (diatonic accordion), Adam Johansson (guitar) and Jens Linell (Drums and percussion). Olav and Leif Ingvar have played together since 2002. Vidar Berge joined the group in 2007 on guitar and together they released the self titled album “SVER”. In the spring of 2008 Anders and Jens completed the band, and they released “Fruen” in 2010. Vidar quit the band later that year and Adam joined the group. Since 2011 SVER has collaborated with the Swedish dance-hall artist Snakka San.
A traditional band with a truly worldwide reach, Téada has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Russia, Israel and Australia. Highlights include a 30,000-capacity stadium concert in Brittany, along with performances at Penang World Music Festival in Malaysia, Edmonton Folk Festival in Canada, Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, and Campeche International Festival in Mexico. In 2014 the band performed to 40,000 people during an extensive 7-week tour of Japan / Taiwan.
Continuing to grow in vision and popularity, Téada recently welcomed a sixth member to the line-up, legendary West Kerry singer and accordionist Séamus Begley, winner of 2013 TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year. The band recently released a smashing new album – Ainneoin na stoirme / In spite of the storm – on the Gael Linn label.
Founded by Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, Téada first came together in 2001 to make an appearance on the innovative TG4 television series ‘Flosc’. One of Irish traditional music’s leading exponents, Téada is driven by a fascination for the timeless, expressive force of music inherited from previous generations of musicians. Irish Music Magazine describes the band as “at the cutting edge of the next generation of Irish musicians…with a fierce familiarity with the old ways.”