BROOKTONDALE NY - Cantrip is a trio of Scottish traditional musicians that has been stunning audiences on several sides of the Atlantic for over a decade with its driving blend of fiddle (Brendan Carey Block will be appearing as guest fiddler for this tour filling in for Jon Bews), bagpipes (Dan Houghton) and guitar (Eric McDonald). Weaving together songs and tunes, both traditional and contemporary, Cantrip takes an audience on a cultural journey, weaving dense textures together and leaving listeners hungering for more. They will be at the Canaan Institute in Brooktondale NY on Thursday June 13th 2013. Concert starts at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a jam session $15- RSVP to reserve a firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a VIDEO of the trio that will appear at Canaan Institute June 13th
Jon Bews - vocals, fiddle (Brendan Carey Block will be appearing as guest fiddler for this tour)
Cantrip is a trio of Scottish traditional musicians that has been stunning audiences on several sides of the Atlantic for over a decade with its driving blend of fiddle, bagpipes and guitar. The name is an Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief and it aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in their musical arrangements, likewise the compelling potency of their musicianship. From the strong base of its Celtic roots their music branches out into, and takes influences from, the music of other European cultures. Originally formed as a quartet in Edinburgh, eleven years of evolution has yielded an extensively diverse and still growing catalogue. Weaving together songs and tunes, both traditional and contemporary, Cantrip takes an audience on a cultural journey, putting their own spin on each style.
Since its inception Cantrip has performed at festivals, clubs, bars, weddings, funerals, stonings and various other events and venues in Breizh, the People’s Republic of Vermont, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of Maine, the Territory of Tennessee, the Dominion of Virginia. the Dutchy of New York, the Principality of Massachusettes, The Kingdom of the Angle, Le Royaume des Francs, Poblacht na hÉireann and, of course, Alba bheadarach (Scotland). The band released its first album “Silver” on the Footstompin’ label in 2001. In 2005 the long awaited second album Boneshaker issued forth on the Mischief label, followed by “Piping the Fish” in 2008. After a period of hiatus in which some children were born and continents were left for other ones, Cantrip was joined by guitarist and mandolinist Eric McDonald, and is now in the process of preparing for their highly anticipated fourth album. Look for Cantrip wherever there is excitement, music, love and liquor.
Workshop - Bow, Grooves and Arrangement
Bow techniques, Grooves, Chords and Arrangements for fiddles, violas and cellos. Make your bow work for YOU not the other way around. This class is the foundation for learning jamming and arrangement techniques as a fiddler. We’ll adapt the workshop to accommodate all skill levels; talk to Mike when you RSVPmike@cinst.org
Laura Cortese to Release New Album “Into the Dark” April 23
Full East Coast, West Coast Record Release Tours; Midwest Support Dates
“Ambition often follows talent, and Laura Cortese has an embarrassment of both. Her open-armed approach to her art reveals a determination to spread the word about folk music without watering down its distinctiveness.” - John Wenzel, Denver Post
Fiddle player and folk-pop singer-songwriter Laura Cortese takes to the road this April and May in support of her forthcoming full-length release, “Into the Dark” (street date April 23, 2013). American Songwriter describes the title track, which the publication premiered, as a “fiddle-drenched, Americana gem.” The rest of the record follows suit as all ten tracks feature Cortese’s stunning vocals backed by lush string arrangements on both her original, dark folk songs and a few carefully curated covers.
Cortese grew up in San Francisco and moved to Boston to study violin at Berklee College of Music. She has since immersed herself in the city’s vibrant indie music scene and enjoyed a busy sideman career, which has included appearances with Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall, Pete Seeger at Newport Folk Festival, and Patterson Hood and Michael Franti for Seeger’s ninetieth birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. She performs frequently with Jocie Adams of the Low Anthem and can be heard on Adams’s upcoming album.
The finest moments on Into the Dark occur when Cortese spins out a metaphor as fluidly as she plays. She wrote the album’s first song, “For Catherine,” about an incident in her hometown in which a young woman was sexually assaulted by a group of high school boys. “For Catherine” bends and shifts as if through an alcoholic haze, playing on the dual meanings of “brandy” as both a libation and a woman’s name. As the song nears its mournful conclusion, the strings soar and the drum strikes a doleful beat. But Cortese always has the last word. When the cacophony subsides, her voice rings out alone. More http://www.thisislauracortese.com/
Somewhere between the fjords of Norway and mountains of the Blue Ridge, the fiddle-playing of Mariel Vandersteel intones the strains of elevation, clarity and tremendous feeling. It is uncanny that she hails from a very different set of mountains: those of northern California. Mariel came of age musically nurtured by the Bay Area’s rich revivalist traditional music scene, receiving a cultural grant to venture to the traditional music archives in Dublin, Ireland, and attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music for violin performance. After graduating, Mariel moved to Norway to study Hardingfele, the country’s national instrument at Hogskolen i Telemark folk music school. Returning to Boston in 2009, Mariel continued to work with acoustic-roots conjurers Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, exploring musical connections between Scandinavia and the United States.
On her new record, Mariel aims to bridge old and new worlds, organically melding the sounds, ornaments and accents of the fiddle communities in which she has delved; Boston and Norway, Ireland and California. In making the record, the goal was to give an aural snapshot of the textures of those communities. Collaborating with the Boston-area’s finest acoustic musicians, including producer/composer Jordan Tice, Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist, Tristan Clarridge, Samson Grisman, Dominick Leslie and Duncan Wickel, Mariel’s new music incorporates lush instrumental dialogues, playful timbral exchanges between fiddle and hardanger, and evocative interpretations of old-world melodies. The record endeavors to capture the incredible energy and ingenuity of the musical community Mariel has surrounded herself with: warmly inviting the listener to the fjord, the Sierra or the living room.
Along with her solo project, Mariel tours nationally and internationally with Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, Laura Cortese’s Acoustic Project and a duo with Emma Beaton. More http://www.marielvandersteel.com/
BROOKTONDALE NY (near ITHACA) - Old-time fiddle and Old Country Song Day - at The Canaan Institute Sat Apr 20th - Vocal Harmony workshop plus old-time house concert. Katie Trautz and Alec Ellsworth:
Twin fiddles and country songs (VT). Plus local favorites Steve Selin, Stefan Senders and Emily Thompson (Ithaca). This will be an all afternoon and evening event! Do it all or take it in “a la carte”. Vocal workshop. American harmony singing workshop from 3:00-5:00 pm - $20., Potluck dinner from 5:00-6:30 pm; bring something to share please., House Concert from 7:00-9:30 pm - $15., Music Jam after the concert; bring your instrument or voice! or $25 for the whole day. No tax dollars. No grant money. No Arts money: Funded only from your donations at the door. Thanks for your support. RSVP to email@example.com to reserve your place! Directions here http://canaaninstitute.org/mn/mus_jamcann.html
Alec Ellsworth and Katie Trautz are a Vermont based duo that plays traditional old-time and Cajun music. Both musicians are strong fiddlers who weave harmonies and melodies together playfully and tastefully. Ellsworth and Trautz swap lead and harmony vocal parts effortlessly and as mufti-instrumentalists, they integrate banjo and guitar. Their collaborations together are relatively new, but both Alec and Katie are well versed in traditional music. Most recently, they have traveled to Louisiana where they learned and shared music with some of their favorite musicians.
Katie will be teaching an American Harmony Singing Workshop from 3-5pm at the Canaan Institute. Katie will teach Appalachian two part close harmony songs, three and four part Gospel tunes, Carter Family songs and shape-note hymns. The songs will be taught primarily by ear, word sheets provided. No experience necessary to join the folk choir! Katie has taught this workshop for the past five years at the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture in Vermont www.summit-school.org
Katie Trautz (www.katietrautz.com) is a native Vermont fiddler who has toured nationally and internationally sharing traditional music and original folk songs. She has released three albums in the past three years, two of which have won ‘best traditional album of the year in the state of Vermont. Katie plays fiddle, guitar and banjo crossing genres with her numerous ensembles. Her bands include: Mayfly, Wooden Dinosaur and the New Foundry. She has studied with some of the greatest fiddle players in the US, including Dirk Powell, Pete Sutherland, James Bryan, Jimmy Tripplett, and Bruce Molsky. Katie has played alongside and shared the stage with many well-known bands including: Aoife O’Donovan Band, Brittany Haas & Lauren Rioux, Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus, Deadly Gentlemen, Sheesham and Lotus, David Wax Museum, Matt and Shannon Heaton, Rusty Belle, Michael Chorney and Dollar General, Brown Bird, Devil Makes Three, 4tet, Pete Sutherland and many others. Katie is also the co-founder of the non-profit folk music school ‘The Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture’ based in Montpelier, VT.
“Katie Trautz is representative of many young people playing traditional music today. On (her album) Remembering, she has used the traditional style to establish her own distinctive and lovely repertoire.”— TD, Sing Out Magazine
“On her new solo recording, Trautz does her mentor proud and really shines as a vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter. Her fiddling is full of old-timey swing, her five-string banjo playing leisurely, and her alto voice confident and full of emotion.” –Robert Resnik, VPR
“In the spotlight by herself, Trautz reveals nuance and depth. She approaches singing the way she does the fiddle: with a subdued directness, creating a sound that’s beautiful in its simplicity.” –Dan Bolles, Seven Days Review
Alec Ellsworth plays his fiddle and sings from the small mountains of Central Vermont. He grew up in the dance halls of New England, where he fell in love with traditional music and dancing. After biking across the US with a fiddle on his back, he fell in love with the music of the South, and has since spent much time learning traditional tunes. Over the summer of 2012 he received a grant to study traditional American fiddle styles, and he spent the summer learning from some of our great cultural proprietors. He now uses his fiddle and voice in dance halls, farmers markets, living rooms and street corners across the U.S.
Steve Selin (guitar) began playing old-time American fiddle music with his family, and has been influenced by the elegant simplicity of it ever since. He is a multi-instrumentalist and professional luthier who performs in the Evil City Stringband along with multiple side projects. Steve will be joined by Stefan Senders and Emily Thompson.
TRUMANSBURG NY - Join us for an awesome evening of music featuring Del Rey and Steve James in Concert!
Del Rey returns to TCFA after her phenomenal performance last spring, this time joined by her musical partner Steve James. Venue http://tburgconservatory.org/
These two powerful exponents of American vernacular guitar-playing, will join forces to make music testament to the hillbilly/smarty-pants/country blues aesthetic. Sharing a sense of humor and a similar manic intensity, their duets are smart, funny and full of instrumental virtuosity. Del Rey doubles on resonator ukulele and Steve James is known for his “noble savage” mandolin style and awesome slide guitar.
With nine solo albums between them, they have recorded a two cds together, Tonight (2004) and Twins (2002). Steve appears on Del Rey’s 2008 Blue Uke CD and Del is on Steve’s latest Short Blue Stories. They have enjoyed critical acclaim for their work with singer Maria Muldaur as well. They channel Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe (plus Joe’s mandolin playing brother, Charlie McCoy) on her 2005 release Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul. Recent shows include King Biscuit Blues Festival. Merlefest, Waterfront Blues Festival and A Prairie Home Companion. Tickets available at the door for $15 or online at http://delreystevejames.eventbrite.com/.
Roots & Blues Weekend Workshop featuring Del Rey and Steve James - April 13-14
The Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts is pleased to host our second annual Acoustic Roots and Blues Workshop! We have a spectacular faculty line-up for 2013: Del Rey, Steve James and Peter LaVine
Classes will include:
- Ukulele Blues Party. In this repertiore class Del Rey will teach blues and jazz songs from the 1920s and ’30s that suit the ukulele, good for strumming or picking.
- Fingerstyle Blues and Rags for the Ukulele. In this instrumental Del Rey will teach picking syncopated melodies and arranging tunes for ukulele.
- Roots & Blues Fingerstyle. In these sessions with Steve James guitarists will learn fingerpicking and slide techniques not through dry exercises but by playing songs from James’ own repertoire.
- Flat Picking the Blues. In these sessions with Peter LaVine guitarists will learn how to flat-pick the blues, improve their understanding of the fretboard, and build improvisational skills.
All three are experienced instructors and awesome musicians. Come prepared with your instrument(s) to enjoy a weekend filled with small group classes and informal jamming sessions! We’ve got a great weekend scheduled, and are really thrilled to be offering this workshop again in 2013. The $150 workshop fee includes admission to the public concert on Friday, April 12 and formal and informal instructional activities all day Saturday and Sunday. Registration information is available online at http://tcfaroots.eventbrite.com/
Berkeley, California-based Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins sing unadorned, true “brand spankin’ OLD” songs. Known as a “folksinger’s folksinger,” Hanks has been performing to delighted festival and club audiences for over 50 years, solo and with folks such as Janis Joplin, Utah Phillips, Mike Seeger, and Geoff Muldaur. He’s still remembered fondly from the glory days of Fox Hollow, and with Deborah Robins, his wife and musical partner, he has charmed the Old Songs Festival for the last several years. Hanks gained “legendary” status in the 60s while playing with the likes of a young Mac Benford, in-her-prime Malvina Reynolds, and then-emerging songwriter Bill Steele when they all were based in the San Francisco Bay area. After his move to Bellingham, Washington, Hanks seemed to“disappear” for a few decades, with little touring, especially in the east. Thankfully, Deborah Robins persuaded him a few years ago to return to full-time performing. They’ve been touring regularly and have put out two great CDs together (No Hiding Place and OLD DAYS) since then.
Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins aren’t flashy or over-the-top. Instead, they are warm and unpretentious. Hanks is a master of spare 6- and 12-string guitar accompaniments and a virtuosic Jew’s harp player. His bass-baritone voice has been called mellifluous as well as rough-hewn; it combines well in earthy and unearthly close harmony with Robins’ resonant alto. They do some originals (such as Hanks’ widely-sung “Apple Picker’s Reel”) but like to keep the traditional songs alive. Influenced by the music of Sam Hinton, Leadbelly, and Woody Guthrie, they range lovingly across cowboy songs both sad and funny, rousing work songs, political and topical songs, and old ballads.
The Cornell Folk Song Society is pleased to welcome Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins at last. Find out what caused another veteran folk musician Michael Cooney to say of Hanks, “This is why I got into folk music to begin with.”
Tickets: Ithaca Guitar Works, GreenStar Market, Autumn Leaves Books, Bound for Glory, online at http://www.cornellfolksong.org/, or at the door. $15 advance, $17 at door: rebates of $3 for CFSS members, seniors, teens; children under 13 free. Students $10/12. Info: website or (607) 351-1845.
Sat Apr 06 TRUMANSBURG NY - Casey Carr w/ O’Shanigans - Contra Dance 8-11 pm. Fundraiser for the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts! O’Shanigans: Tim Ball (fiddle), Phil Robinson (guitar), and Michael Ludgate (mandolin). Location: Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts. Adults $10; children under 13 free. Contra dances have been held for hundreds of years in small town halls such as the Conservatory. Come help us revive this tradition in Trumansburg! Each dance is taught, and you can come without a partner. But please bring clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the lovely wooden floor! Sponsored by the board of the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts. Band www.oshanigans.org Venue http://tburgconservatory.org/
Fri Apr 05 COOPERSTOWN NY - Casey Mullaney w/ O’Shanigans - Contra Dance w/ Philip Robinson (guitar) and Mike Ludgate (mandolin) with Tim Ball on fiddle. The delightful Casey Mullaney (Hartwick ALUM) calling the dances in Cooperstown NY. Great little venue with a nice wooden floor. First Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Pioneer and Church Streets in Cooperstown NY. 8-11 pm., $8- www.oshanigans.org
Fri Feb 08 ITHACA NY - Katy Heine with Notes Inégales (notes in-a-gall): Andrea Katz (fiddle, viola) and Mike Ludgate (mandolin) - will be joined by Margaret Ball (fiddle) and Sophie Orzechowski (keyboard). Calling the dances is our fabulous Ithaca caller, Katy Heine http://www.notesinegales.org 8-11 pm 1825 Slaterville Rd Ithaca NY. Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/536339516400038/
From the dancers and callers about O’Shanigans and Notes Inegales – “That was a delightful contra dance last night in Fayetteville … I truly enjoyed the many subtleties of your musical arrangements. And when Nils Fredland joined in on his trombone, it was polyphonic heaven … ” , “Ithaca’s best contra dance band”, “O’Shanigans rock(s)”, ” … such a fun group of people, and the band was awesome … ” , “What a great dance! Nils called some fun and interesting dances, the band was delightful! The place was packed…” , “you guys really GET the dance thing”, “wow …. WOW! That was inceredible!”, “you guys are so much fun to dance to!”, ”O’Shanigans is Ithaca’s hottest new contra dance band.”, “Tim Ball, Mike Ludgate, and Phil Robinson play with energy and style. It’s party time!” “I was happy to see and hear your band play, it was great! The music was the best I’ve heard at a contra for sure. It really got everyone grooving and elicited hooting and hollering … YEAH!” “The O’Shanigans rocked the hall tonight! You guys sure know how to throw a party!” “I was really glad to get to dance to your music- that was tons of fun!!” “Super dance on Friday! You guys were peppy, and there were some imaginative arrangements that made familiar tunes sound fresh. Hooray for the O’Shanigans!” “It was invigorating music, great company and fun caller!” “Do play for us again!” “It was fun dancing and even more so to the tunes of O’Shanigans!” “It was great!” “Mike, you and Phil and Tim were SOLID! I had a blast and my daughter had fun too! Thanks for playing, and thanks to Ray for the goodies!” “We’ve heard great stuff about you guys: We’d love to have you play at our dance!” “Wow! I have not seen that kind of energy at the Friday Dance in long time, you guys were great!” “That was they most amazing medley … was there something Middle Eastern in there?” “You guys were way out there like in Hungary or somewhere? … then you brought it back home with that old-time tune … the best version of that I have ever heard!” “The band was absolutely wonderful last night!”
NPR: Youth Flock To Contra Dancing — Contra dancing has been around since the 1700s. If you don’t know it — it’s kind of like square dancing but with long lines of dancers. The dance is having a renaissance around the country thanks to a thriving youth scene and incredibly lively acoustic music. Article by Marika Partridge on All Things Considered NPR July 2nd 2010 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128273050
ITHACA NY - Scotland’s Battlefield Band brings an inspired mix of ancient and modern traditional music and song to Ithaca on Friday, April 5. The group, founded in 1969 and named after the “Battlefield” area of Glasgow, will perform at the First Unitarian Church at 306 North Aurora Street. Tickets for the 8 p.m. all-ages concert are $20-$25. For more information, visit www.dansmallspresents.com or call 607-280-2900.
Performing under their banner “Forward with Scotland’s Past,” Battlefield Band remains at the forefront of the Scottish music scene after more than 40 years and was named Scottish Folk Band of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2011. “What the internationally renowned Irish band, the Chieftains, have done for traditional Irish music, Battlefield Band are doing for the music of Scotland,” according to Billboard.
An ever-evolving ensemble, over the years new members have brought with them new ideas, music, instruments, attitudes and influences leading to continued creativity, freshness and enthusiasm. The current lineup includes young multi-instrumentalist Ewen Henderson, guitarist-vocalist Sean O’Donnell, fiddle prodigy Alasdair White and bagpipe virtuoso Mike Katz. Battlefield Band’s new album, Room Enough for All, was released March 18. Here’s a link to a three-minute video featuring footage of the band performing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn7vKDjOq1s.
Recently awarded ‘Scottish Folk Band of the Year’ and previously ‘Best Live Act’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards, Battlefield Band has been an ever-evolving bedrock of traditional music and talent for over forty years, and is rightly regarded as the great flagship of the Scottish traditional music scene.
Serious about the music, this band’s enjoyment in playing is obvious and infectious as they harness the great living traditions of Scotland & the Celtic nations to involve and entertain their audiences.
“A wondrous perfectly paced display by musicians firmly in command of their art… the band’s chemistry at this point is uncanny … the best Battlefield Band in years”– The Washington Post
Andrew Cohen is a quietly powerful wizard of music-making, master of songs both traditional and new. Interspersing his own compositions with African-American spirituals, hymns, songs of liberation, poetry of Robert Frost and Mary Oliver, ancient Scots ballads (which he has translated from medieval dialect), early American folk music, and songs from friends such as Dave Carter, Annie Gallup, and Kate MacLeod, he spins a lyrical web of a concert. His original songs range widely; some tell stories, others are impressionistic; some are topical, others autobiographical. They may be dark, frankly challenging, or side-splitting funny. He can write a beautiful love song. His work is both grounded and full of restless curiosity. “Andrew Calhoun tells the truth; … there is no better songwriter alive,” said Dave Carter.
Raised in Chicago by parents who took their Jewish and Christian faiths, poetry, and union/civil rights politics seriously, Calhoun also credits as early influences W. B. Yeats, John Prine, Elizabeth Cotton, Bessie Jones, Mississippi John Hurt, Joni Mitchell, Joseph Conrad, Leonard Cohen, and Martin Carthy. He began to make music professionally in his teens, and 40 years later is still fresh, performing world-round, making superb recordings, exploring new terrain in music as ritual, and mentoring other musicians. As founder of the cooperative Waterbug Records, he has helped to launch the careers of many folk luminaries, including Dar Williams, Lui Collins, Cosy Sheridan, and Anais Mitchell. These days, he’s also been performing with his daughter, Casey Calhoun, and with their band Zozo.
Few contemporary folk musicians can rival the power of Calhoun’s imagery, the warmth of his baritone, his deft fingerpicking, and sly humor. He mystifies, inspires, and delights. Writes Lui Collins, “Andrew’s music goes straight to the soul.” His concerts are an always-surprising fusion of energetic intellect, deep humanity, and pure magic.
Tickets: Ithaca Guitar Works, GreenStar, Autumn Leaves Bookstore, Bound for Glory, and online at www.cornellfolksong.org/. $15 advance/$17 door; $3 rebate for members, seniors, teens; children 12 & under free. Cornell students $10/$12. Info: 607-351-1845 or website. Performer website: www.waterbug.com/calhoun/
BROOKTONDALE NY (near ITHACA) - Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand - Sat Mar 16th House Concert & Workshop - Spend the whole day at the Canaan Institute or take it in “a la carte”. Details and suggested contributions listed here: Contra Musicians’ workshop 2:00-4:30 pm $20, Potluck dinner 5:00-6:30 pm bring something to share, House Concert 7:00-9:30 pm $15, Music Jam after the concert - bring your instrument, or $25 for the whole day. This takes place at a private residence, please email Mike for reservations and directions firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone 607-539-6153. The Canaan Institute: www.cinst.org
Here is a video clip from the March 16 concert … they played this song spontaneously from a request by an audience member.
CONCERT DETAIL - The VanNorstrands have been bringing their brand of high-energy alternative folk music to concert halls, festival stages, and dance floors across North America for more than a decade, but this concert is a return to the brothers’ musical roots. They began their musical careers learning old-time fiddle tunes, but soon became proficient on an astonishing variety of instruments; guitar, banjo, bouzouki, bongos, mandolin, bodhran, and even didgeridoo. Recently they’ve branched out into an edgier, more improvisational style including jazz, rock and world-beat percussion. Their stunning abilities as both performers and composers, combined with energetic, heartfelt performances, have built a large and loyal following. This show presents a special opportunity to hear these remarkable musicians in a cozy, close-up setting.
RSVP email@example.com to reserve your place! Let us know what part of the day you want to participate in. This will be an all day event. Spend the whole day at the Institute or take it in “a la carte”. Details and suggested contributions listed here:
Contra Musicians’ workshop 2:00-4:30 pm - $20 alone
Potluck dinner 5:00-6:30 pm - bring something to share
House Concert 7:00-9:30 pm - $15 alone
Music Jam after the concert - bring your instrument
$25 donation covers the whole day
WORKSHOP DETAIL - Here is a mini-summary of possible workshop topics: great for contra dance musicians!
Crowd Control: rhythm, dynamics and communication
Bigger on the Inside: tune deconstruction and arrangements
The Perfect Fit: working with callers, matching tunes with dances
Between the Sheets: improvisation and finding the soul of a tune
Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand are two of the most exciting and creative musicians on the folk music scene today. This special show will be a rare, all acoustic performance by the duo, featuring a finely crafted blend of old-time country songs, mountain fiddle tunes, swing, and bluegrass, as well as some originals. The intimate setting of the Canaan Institute is the perfect venue for this kind of concert.
The VanNorstrands have been bringing their brand of high-energy alternative folk music to concert halls, festival stages, and dance floors across North America for more than a decade, but this concert is a return to the brothers’ musical roots. They began their musical careers learning old-time fiddle tunes, but soon became proficient on an astonishing variety of instruments; guitar, banjo, bouzouki, bongos, mandolin, bodhran, and even didgeridoo. Recently they’ve branched out into an edgier, more improvisational style including jazz, rock and world-beat percussion. Their stunning abilities as both performers and composers, combined with energetic, heartfelt performances, have built a large and loyal following. This show presents a special opportunity to hear these remarkable musicians in a cozy, close-up setting.
Andrew & Noah are DIY musicians with some hard-earned credentials. They’ve been featured performers at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in NC, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in NY, KVMR Celtic Festival in CA, Suwannee Springfest in FL, Midpoint Music Festival in OH and many others. They’ve toured extensively, often playing for contra dances as The Great Bear Trio with their mom Kim on piano. They’ve taught at various music camps including Ashokan Fiddle & Dance, CDSS Pinewoods and the Augusta Heritage Center. Andrew is also the program coordinator for the annual Ashokan Guitar Camp. They performed live on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” when they were in their teens. They maintain their own independent label (Great Bear Records) and produce an annual music and dance festival in Oswego, NY called The Groove.
Andrew and Noah are a true brother duo in the line of the Stanleys, the Louvins and the Everlys. Their finely-honed vocal harmonies bespeak over two decades of common musical experience, but it’s their differences that make them truly dynamic. Both brothers started out playing fiddle at age eight. Andrew was always drawn to bluegrass, swing, old-time country and cowboy songs, which eventually led him to take up the guitar and banjo. Noah, on the other hand, dug deeper into Celtic, Appalachian and contemporary acoustic roots music; branching out on the mandolin, tenor guitar, didgeridoo, drums and percussion. They recorded several albums in their teens of all original material and in 2004 they appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Now in their twenties, the brothers continue to write, record and tour all over North America with several bands including The Great Bear Trio, Giant Robot Dance and of course, the Andrew & Noah Band. They maintain their own independent label (Great Bear Records) and produce an annual music and dance festival in Oswego, NY called The Groove.
“Their material is original, yet sounds timeless, demonstrating a depth of musical understanding seldom found in musicians double or triple their ages.” – Rob Weir, Sing Out!
“These folks are going places!” – Jay Ungar, performer, composer
“Their eclectic arrangements show both considerable technical ability and an ear for orchestration.” – Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine
“These two brothers are fun, talented, and above all, great showmen!” – Bill Knowlton, Bluegrass Ramble, WCNY-FM
Tony Bird is unique: a truly original performer and song writer, “untamed; a wild-card creature of inordinate invention.” No one else sounds remotely like him. He is a white African musician and internationally acclaimed poet now living in the United States. Village Voice has dubbed him “the finest, most impressive folk poet in years.” His music and spirit are deeply rooted in southern Africa, the beauty of the Rift Valley, and the suffering of his continent. Tony Bird’s voice is haunting, powerful, eccentric, radiant, percussive. He playfully suggests that “it probably comes from trying to sound like John Lee Hooker and Hank Williams and failing at both.” From a quirky high tenor to a throaty growl, Tony Bird may break into falsetto or howling, bird calls or bushman clicks, to serve the song. He weaves stories rich in symbolism and gritty, carefully observed detail. His lyrics are intimate, clever, often angry, but frequently joyous. They reflect his complex relationship with his native land, from sweet pleasures (Mango Time) to the magic of wild Africa (Tssik…Listen to the Stars) to profound despair (Sorry Africa) and hope (Run).
Born in Malawi (Nyasaland), educated in Rhodesia and Britain, Tony Bird returned to Africa as a young adult to make a career in music. Unfortunately his politics, in the fight against apartheid, made him unwelcome to governmental authorities. After years traveling around the world, he made a home in New York City. Not simply a singer of protest songs, Tony Bird calls his music “African folk rock.” It fuses African pop, Southern rhythm and blues, and ethereal world music. His polyrhythmic but melodic guitar work is as ample as a full band. In addition to his earlier recordings for Columbia, his CD from Rounder also features Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon’s Graceland band.
Tony Bird is unforgettable. He has performed in Ithaca only three times in the past 28 years, but each concert has erupted in a standing ovation. The Cornell Folk Song Society is pleased to help him be heard once again.
Tickets are available at Ithaca Guitar Works, GreenStar Market, Autumn Leaves Books, online at http://www.cornellfolksong.org/, or at the door. $15 adv/$17 door; $3 rebate for members, seniors, teens; children 12 & under free. Students $10/$12.
ITHACA NY - Sunday, February 24 at 4pm at the Unitarian Church in Ithaca Winter Village is very excited to bring the Kruger Brothers to Ithaca for the first time later this month. Cornerstone was fortunate to play with them at the Riverhawk Festival in Florida in 2004ish, and at that time I was impressed my their incredible instrumental ability. Jens is an amazing banjoist, second to none, and Uwe a top-notch flatpicking guitartist. In listening to their recorded music, I am struck by their rare combination of technical proficiency, respect for the traditional mountain music of their adopted home in the Carolinas, and their heartfelt original songs. In concert, they blend their beautiful original instrumentals, folk-tinged original songs, with some bluegrass chestnuts. And they are not above playing popular, flashy, and fun bluegrass instrumentals like Dueling Banjos or Orange Blossom Special. Please join us for what should be a great show.
“Jens Kruger is a wonderful banjoist who is one of the most creative and giving and positive musicians I’ve ever met. The Krugers put on a great show and you shouldn’t miss it.” Tony Trischka
Concert at 4pm at the Unitarian Church in Ithaca - 2 sets Tickets cost $18 in advance (additional Ticket Center fees may apply) and are available exclusively at The Ticket Center on the Ithaca Commons. You can reach Ticket Center Ithaca at 607-273-4497. Tickets can also be purchased online through www.IthacaEvents.com. Tickets will likely be available at the door for $25. Note that The Krugers travel with their own sound man so the sound should be great in the Unitarian Sanctuary.
Jens Kruger Banjo Workshop at 6pm Jens Kruger will teach a banjo workshop after the show for 90 minutes. Cost will be $60 per student with a minimum of 5 students required (all fees to Jens). Email Rick to register in advance. Pay Jens directly at the workshop.
About the Kruger Brothers Born and raised in Europe, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger were performing regularly by the time they were 11 and 12 years old, and they began their professional career in 1979. Since a formal introduction to American audiences in 1997, their remarkable facility with their instruments and unique take on the American Songbook have made the Kruger Brothers a fixture within the world of acoustic music. Although initially staying fairly close to a traditional repertoire, the group later turned to song writing and composition in order to draw more closely from their personal experiences. The result is a catalog of songs distinguished by rich detail and an insight into the delicacy and complexity of everyday life. The honesty of their writing has since become a hallmark of the trio’s work. The Kruger Brothers personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music, composed by Jens Kruger, is crafted around their discerning taste, and the result is unpretentious, cultivated, and delightfully fresh.
The Kruger Brothers were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for Music from the Spring a symphonic suite composed and orchestrated by Jens Kruger, which premiered in 2007. In late 2010, the Kruger Brothers premiered the Appalachian Concerto, a concerto for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet. In addition to their regular concert schedule they perform these pieces regularly with select symphony orchestras and string quartets throughout the country. Through their numerous CD releases, radio and television performances, lectures, and collaborative efforts, the Kruger Brothers powerful artistic statement inspires and enlightens.
What Colleagues Say About the Kruger Brothers
“The Krugers are nothing short of magnificent.” Bluegrass Journal
“I used to think the banjo was somewhat limited to certain styles, until I heard Jens Kruger. Jens has played some of the most beautiful and expressive banjo I’ve ever heard.“ Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station
“The Kruger Brothers are just about as fine a band as I’ve ever played with … I love to play music with them.” Doc Watson
“It’s a blast playing with them … not only are they all superior musicians, they are the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet.” Adam Steffey
“They are some awesome musicians.” Bobby Hicks
“Jens Kruger has established himself as one of the world’s most musically sophisticated and technically accomplished five-string banjo players.” Happy Traum
Videos on You Tube with Viewer Comments
Jack of the Wood “Is this what love sounds like?” “Jens plays and his soul pours out along with the amazing technical performance.”
Forever and a Day “Lost my mother a few months ago and this song speaks so directly to my heart and the loss I feel. You folks are so evocative in your playing. Thanks so much for putting music to my feelings. I am a life long banjo player and , Jens , your banjo playing is so tonal and nuanced…You are just so refreshing to hear. Excellent, Beautiful, Thanks” “Absolutely beautiful. I like the northern, ice-flow imagery with the southern pickin’.” “The Kruger Brothers are AMAZING. Tight, highly skilled musicianship and ensemble PLUS real humanity. I can listen to them for hours.”
“A man could live a lifetime and not experience something that amazing. This song will be played in my home for ever more. Thanks for the music.”
Behind the Barn These kats are really amazing, world class for sure. I was fortunate to do a session which Jens was also playing on a year or so back , incredibly gracious and talented man, I am in awe of his talent ! A one take genious ! I did get a chance to see them at Merle Fest last year, great set.
WaterfallWaterfall at Grey Fox Workshop Tent Todd Taylor is in the Guiness Book of Records as the fastest banjo, playing dueling banjos at 210 bpm. I don’t have a drum machine, but I just listened to it before listening to this of Jens play Waterfall, and I’m pretty sure this is faster, at least 20 bpm! Jens, you should be in Guinness!