Friday, July 21, 2017
Joe K. Walsh with special guests Brittany Haas & Jordan Tice
Roots music isn't made in a vacuum. It's the creation of a community, of a circle of friends, of a teacher and a student. Its something to be passed back and forth to be treasured. As an acclaimed master of American roots music, mandolinist and songwriter Joe K. Walsh knows this better than most. Hes toured with countless artists, collaborated with other master musicians like Darol anger and the Gibson Brothers, founded progressive stringband Joy Kills sorrow in the early 2000s, and is currently on faculty at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. His new album, Borderland, is an exercise in subtlety and careful creation. Turning through songs he wrote, or setting the words of Yeats to music, and picking out instrumental tunes of his own creation, Walsh plays and sings with the kind of ease that comes from years of practice and creation.
The touch of sawdust in his vocals, or the buzz of the mandolin strings may hint at the deep rural roots of this music, but what hes creating now is a new kind of tradition. His first inspiration came as a teenager when he heard David Grisman, and then again when first hearing Del McCoury. The music he heard at that young age opened a window to new harmonic possibilities, and started Walsh exploring how to create new American roots music. Whats surprising then is that his new album is no act of wild fusion. Instead, its a joyful exploration of just why he loves this old music so much in the first place. With mastery comes restraint. With nothing left to prove, Walsh has dived deeper into the tradition, seeking to craft new music from old roots.
Brittany Haas is widely regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation. Born in Northern California, Brittany grew up honing her craft at string camps nationwide, and developed her unique style of fiddling at the influence of her mentors, Bruce Molsky and Darol Anger. A prodigious youth, Haas began touring with Darol Angers Republic of Strings at the age of fourteen. At seventeen, she released her debut, self-titled solo album (produced by Anger). Haas continued to tour and record while simultaneously earning a degree in Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University (where she also minored in Music Performance). It was during her time at Princeton that Brittany was asked to join the seminal chamber grass band Crooked Still, with whom she has made four recordings and toured the world.
Hailing from Annapolis Maryland, Jordan Tice is an innovative flatpicker and prolific composer of acoustic music. The son of two bluegrass musicians, he grew up playing with various bluegrass bands and singer/songwriters around Maryland until 2005 when he enrolled at Towson University to study music composition on full scholarship. He released his debut recording of original music at the age of 17 on Patuxent Records and has since released 2 more recordings of his music to rave reviews. He has worked with the likes of Mark Schatz and friends, Frank Wakefield, Darol Anger, and Tony Trischka. He has been featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and played the music of Steve Martin commissioned for New York City's esteemed "Shakespeare in the Park" series in Central Park in summer 2012. Jordan currently plays in the trio Haas Kowert Tice with fiddler Brittany Haas and bassist Paul Kowert. Their new record, "You Got This" is currently garnering some positive press. He also performs with the fiddle/percussive dance group 4tet, in a duo with Hammered Dulcimer Player Simon Chrisman and as a sideman with many different artists around the US.