They say about themselves:
We met at school about four years ago. Our tastes in music are pretty varied, and individually, not that similar. There’s enough of a crossover though for it to (we feel), really work when we play together. What we do is pretty much entirely made up of our own tunes- some we’ve written together, others we’ve written separately and playing them together happens in a really natural way.
Charlie is from the middle of the Highlands, and it’s in the music of the area where his musical life began. Further down the line, a detour in to gypsy jazz and bluegrass changed his style hugely. They are now as apparent in his playing as the music of home. What we play is closest in spirit to the first of these, but more progressive. From a largely mellow base, the music rises and falls, slowly building to moments of intensity, breaking away in to powerful improvisation.
Piano is far from the competition piping tradition in which Joe grew up, but it’s where he’s most at home. Not one for vamping either, like the piano playing he’d hear in dances at the village hall in Achiltibuie, his approach comes more from listening to the modern Scottish pianists that are doing such exciting things with the instrument and progressive minimalists such as Nils Frahm. Joe’s playing starts small and builds slowly, it’s the footing on which Charlie has the freedom to improvise at will.
We’ve played together a lot over the past few years: At school, and following that, at countless ceilidhs, functions and such like. Between all of these we’ve driven thousands of miles together, listening to all sorts in the car. The background music gigs: The ones that we all need to do to make ends meet as a students. Where nobody is really listening to what you’re doing and you’re free to mess about, they were the ones in which our way of playing together developed.
We want people to hear this though, so we set out initially to make a small EP as a product of this experience. As the days went by though, more and more ideas were had, and our debut album: “ Waves Rise From Quiet Water” was the result.
Waves Rise From Quiet Water is based on this essential fiddle/piano combination, with a number of additions. In the end the total lineup is: Fiddle, piano, tenor guitar, accordion, fender rhodes and vocals. The whole thing happened on a shoestring, recorded in Joe’s living room, using gear borrowed from friends and colleagues, timing takes between the rumble of the subway as it passed underneath the flat.
Charlie adds a few songs to the mix, for which we were lucky to be able to call upon some friends: Kim Carne, Annie Lennox and Innes White, to add some backing vocals. Other than that, Waves Rise From Quiet Water is as home made as it gets. It’s not a maverick piece of work that breaks loads of musical boundaries, but it’s not like something you’ll have heard before.
Making the CD has created the impetus to take our playing together out of the background of parties and such like and in to folk clubs, venues and festivals across the UK. We’re still in the process of getting the CD printed, and booking some gigs to launch it with, but stay tuned, and hopefully we’ll see you very soon.