Monday, April 28, 2014
It is seldom that a young folk duo emerges with so focused a direction and critical regard. After their first show together, Emma Beaton and Nic Gareiss' sound was lauded by Cover Lay Down as "delicate and broken and perfectly sweet." Perhaps it was to be expected considering their respective burgeoning solo careers: Emma, a folk cellist, vocalist, and banjo player originally from Vancouver Island, has performed across North America, Europe, and New Zealand, sharing the stage with notable musicians such as Jim Lauderdale, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Sarah Jarosz, Peter Rowan, and Tim O'Brien. Emma is also the front-woman of the Boston-based modern American stringband Joy Kills Sorrow, with whom she's appeared on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage, PBS' Music City Roots, and BBC Radio. Her 2008 solo release, "Pretty Fair Maid" was awarded a Canadian Folk Music Award, naming her the 2008 Young Performer of the Year. Her singing has been described as "gorgeous and clear," the music, "diverse and inventive".
Nic, a dancer, singer, and bouzouki-player from Michigan, has danced and played across Europe and the States with The Chieftains, This is How We Fly, Footworks, and Uncle Earl. He has studied and performed music and dance internationally, including a year in Irish Music & Dance Performance at the University of Limerick in Ireland, where he later earned his masters degree in ethnochoreology.
Emma and Nic first met at several music camps and began playing together late at night after square dances and evening-long fiddle tunes sessions. The songs they sang became the last music of the night. Today, their music retains a sense of staid nostalgia and quiet, almost secretive intimacy, grounded in Celtic and Americana traditions, but ultimately all their own. Their eponymous CD was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for 'Traditional Singer of the Year.'
"I fell in love at once, their music reminds me why I listen to folk music in the first place."
-Cover Lay Down
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