AM String Band travels the islands AM String Band travels the islands

  • Mon May 12th, 2008 11:55pm
  • Life
AM String Band travels the islands AM String Band travels the islands

The AM String Band, a Helena, Montana-based, unconventional string band trio, will be performing across the San Juan Islands May 16 through 20.

The group plays original songs alongside traditional fiddle tunes and ballads from Appalachia and the northeastern U.S. on a revolving instrumentation including twin fiddles, viola, banjo, guitar, bass, kazoos, and foot percussion.

Performances in the San Juans include The Front Street Ale House in Friday Harbor May 16 and 17, a contradance Sunday, May 18 at the Waldron School House, a fundraiser for The Funhouse at the Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island on May 19, and an appearance at The Galley Restaurant on Lopez Island on May 20. All performances are free of charge, but the band appreciates donations to help off-set the costs of travel.

The San Juan dates are part of a three-week tour in support of the young band’s debut CD, “Take Root!” Violist Michael Willing and guitarist/songwriter Adam Nordell were awarded a residency at the Montana Artist Refuge and a grant from the Montana Arts Council to study American fiddling traditions January of this year. Fiddler/banjoist Johanna Davis joined them for a month of playing together eight hours a day and performing extensively across the state. Davis decided to stay in Montana and help form what has become The AM String Band. Davis’ clear voice and sultry fiddle playing proved a rich addition to Nordell’s songwriting and guitar work and Willing’s strong fiddle and viola styles.

Nordell was first inspired to play music as a child while visiting a stand-up bass player friend on Lopez Island. He later performed in orchestral, jazz, reggae and ska groups before settling into old time music. The three musicians first played together when Davis stopped in Montana on her way from her home in Maine to Washington where she worked as a farm apprentice at Blue Moon Produce on Waldron Island. More information is available at www.amstringband or myspace.com/amstringband.

The AM String Band, a Helena, Montana-based, unconventional string band trio, will be performing across the San Juan Islands May 16 through 20.

The group plays original songs alongside traditional fiddle tunes and ballads from Appalachia and the northeastern U.S. on a revolving instrumentation including twin fiddles, viola, banjo, guitar, bass, kazoos, and foot percussion.

Performances in the San Juans include The Front Street Ale House in Friday Harbor May 16 and 17, a contradance Sunday, May 18 at the Waldron School House, a fundraiser for The Funhouse at the Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island on May 19, and an appearance at The Galley Restaurant on Lopez Island on May 20. All performances are free of charge, but the band appreciates donations to help off-set the costs of travel.

The San Juan dates are part of a three-week tour in support of the young band’s debut CD, “Take Root!” Violist Michael Willing and guitarist/songwriter Adam Nordell were awarded a residency at the Montana Artist Refuge and a grant from the Montana Arts Council to study American fiddling traditions January of this year. Fiddler/banjoist Johanna Davis joined them for a month of playing together eight hours a day and performing extensively across the state. Davis decided to stay in Montana and help form what has become The AM String Band. Davis’ clear voice and sultry fiddle playing proved a rich addition to Nordell’s songwriting and guitar work and Willing’s strong fiddle and viola styles.

Nordell was first inspired to play music as a child while visiting a stand-up bass player friend on Lopez Island. He later performed in orchestral, jazz, reggae and ska groups before settling into old time music. The three musicians first played together when Davis stopped in Montana on her way from her home in Maine to Washington where she worked as a farm apprentice at Blue Moon Produce on Waldron Island. More information is available at www.amstringband or myspace.com/amstringband.