Foghorn Stringband (USA/Canada)
The Foghorn Stringband is the present day gold standard for real-deal hard-hitting genuine old-time American string band music, with eight albums, thousands of shows, over 15 years of touring under their belts, and an entirely new generation of roots musicians following their lead.
American roots music is a diverse and never-ending well of inspiration, and Foghorn Stringband continually and obsessively draws from old-time, bluegrass, classic country, and Cajun music traditions in an ongoing quest to present a broad span of American historical music with an unparalleled youthful energy, joy, and virtuosity.
The Foghorn Stringband is comprised four master performers and historians: -Caleb Klauder (vocals, mandolin, fiddle) - From Orcas Island, Washington -Reeb Willms (vocals, guitar) - From rural Farmer, Washington -Nadine Landry (vocals, upright bass) - From the Gaspé Coast, Eastern Quebec -Stephen ‘Sammy’ Lind (vocals, fiddle, banjo) - From Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Each member of Foghorn Stringband exemplifies the best of the roots music traditions from their respective native cultures. Caleb Klauder’s wistful, keening vocals and rapidfire mandolin picking are as influenced by Southern roots music as much as they are by his upbringing in the sea islands of coastal Washington State. Reeb Willms hails from the wind swept Eastern farmlands of Washington. Her musical family and rural upbringing are are on display with every note she sings and every heart she breaks. Nadine Landry’s roots lie in the rural backroads of Acadian Québec, and her high lonesome vocals have delighted audiences the world over. Her earth-shaking bass playing is the rumbling backbone of the Foghorn sound. Minnesotan Stephen ‘Sammy’ Lind, simply put, is the old-time fiddler of his generation whose tone and voice are as old as the same hills that gave birth to this music. Together, these four have forged a sound like no other.
In performance, Foghorn Stringband gather around one microphone, balancing their music on the fly, and playing with an intense, fiery abandon. To the band, this music is as relevant today as it was at it’s birth a century ago. They see themselves not only as cultural revivalists, but also as historians and fans of this music. Their performances and recordings are a joyful celebration of music from a bygone era that still holds the power to delight audiences worldwide.
The band’s repertoire has expanded greatly in the past 15 years. They are as comfortable playing music at a neighborhood square dance as they are stirring a festival audience to a frenzy. Old time dance tunes rub shoulders with Cajun waltzes, vintage honky tonk country, and classic bluegrass….and it’s all rendered into a cohesive whole. Foghorn Stringband can often be found after a performance in a local pub or club continuing to play with equal energy and joy late into the night. They’re obsessed, and that obsession rings true with every note they play and every song they sing. You’ll see. There’s Foghorn…and there’s everybody else.
quebec fiddle weekend
david boulanger & simon marion (canada)
In 2017 the Quebec Fiddle Weekend will run in conjunction with the Blackwood Festival of Music and Culture. Presented by Quasitrad, the Quebec Fiddle Weekend offers the chance to learn the Quebecois fiddle style , enjoy a chance to jam together, alongside the other festival events .
David Boulanger is best-known as the fiddle player of the legendary Québécois band, La Bottine Souriante, which has been touring the world for nearly 40 years. A highly respected fiddler, foot percussionist, singer, composer and arranger from Montréal, David is the recipient of several Canadian Folk Awards and the proud tradition-bearer of Quebecois trad music.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, Simon Marion is an indispensable part of the Quebecois music scene, in folk, jazz and pop. With an impressive array of awards to his name, including two Félix awards for best album of the year and the Oliver Jones Spectra Prize for excellence in jazz, Simon is in constant demand either on stage with a band or hard at work in the studio as a producer. Like David, Simon is very excited to be coming to Australia for the first time. Among other things, he’s looking forward to sampling a good bottle of red!
mac traynham & shay garriock (USA)
Mac Traynham and Shay Garriock are a musical duo dedicated to carrying on the older musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Whether a breakdown melody played as a fiddle/banjo duet, or a lonesome song of tragedy sung and backed up with fiddle, guitar and harmonica, Mac and Shay strive to apply an appropriate level of energy and heartfelt spirit in every performance. Whether leading a group jam or playing solo for an attentive audience Mac and Shay’s love for the social and soulful aspects of American old-time music comes through. Check out their 2010 CD of native old-time music Turkey in the Mountain
Mac Traynham, a native Virginian and longtime resident, is a multi instrumentalist who learned to play primarily in a community of older musicians and flatfoot dancers in the Galax, Virginia region. He is currently active as a performer and teacher of the musical styles once commonplace before the Bluegrass music revolution. Both youth and adults have been enlightened to the joy of playing for dancers through area programs such a JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) and Floyd Country Store’s Handmade Music School (http://www.floydcountrystore.com/). Known for their old-time duet singing Mac, along with his wife Jenny, have been promoting the instrumental and vocal music of the Blue Ridge through workshops held occasionally on their small farm in Floyd County (http://www.macandjenny.com/). In addition, Mac is a banjo maker in the tradition of his home region, having made over one hundred high quality instruments (http://www.mactraynham.com/).
Shay Garriock began his path to learning old-time fiddling in mid 1980’s, traveling with Mac to learn from original mountain people who were still active and willing to share their music with those willing to learn. His fiddling today reflects many of the bowing techniques and phrasing nuances that were characteristic of his various mentors. Over the years and presently, Shay has been active in his community and beyond, sharing and teaching both privately and in group settings the secrets of old-time fiddling as learned from master old timers. Like Mac, he has served on the staff of several old-time music camps over the years including Augusta and Mars Hill. In 2010 his deep interest in the fiddle itself led him to open a violin shop in Pittsboro, NC (http://www.sgmcviolins.com/) where practices the art of violin repair and maintenance as well as building new fiddles. As of Dec 2016, Shay has completed making twenty instruments and repaired hundreds more.
Flora Knight & Sean Donald (NZ/canada)
Flora Knight and Sean Donald are a duo who despite their disparate upbringings, coalesce to produce harmonious electricity. As the electrons collide, one can discern soft yet exciting songs and tunes, anything from the sad to the humorous.
Fiddle player and singer Flora Knight (The Eastern, The Lonesome Pine Specials) was raised in New Zealand, where singer and guitar picker Sean Donald (The All Day Breakfast Stringband, Pigeonhawk SB) was raised in Canada and now just a stones throw away from Knight, resides in Dunedin NZ.
The music that Sean and Flora play is reminiscent of a bygone era that resist the wear of time. Whether it's a rip roaring ragtime fiddle tune, a mournful country classic, or a sweet and silly waltz they will have you on your toes both figuratively and literally. Their two voices blend beautifully to capture the tight country duet harmonies of the great turn of the century brother duets such as the Louvin Brothers and The Delmore Brothers. The fiddle tunes you will hear are largely steeped in the traditions of American folk music, and the silvery melodies will have you wish for reincarnation as Flora's fiddle itself. Together their music is a dreamboat sailing on a moonlit ocean. 2017 will see Flora and Sean release and tour their debut album that they recorded live at the infamous Chicks Hotel, Dunedin, New Zealand.