|Friday 10 June 2022 @ 09:00pm : -
Hannah Read & Michael Starkey
Fiddler and singer-songwriter Hannah Read met banjo player Michael Starkey at an Appalachian old time session in Edinburgh in late 2019. The moment they first struck up a tune together there was an immediate meeting of musical minds. They have since become a dynamic fiddle and banjo duo, playing repertoire deep from the old time tradition as well as newly self-composed tunes and songs. Their compelling sound can be heard on the debut album Cross the Rolling Water out on Hudson Records in June 2022.
Hannah is an award winning Scottish musician based in Brooklyn, NY. She moved stateside to study American fiddle styles and to immerse herself in the thriving string music scene. She has toured extensively, performing solo and collaborating with musicians far and wide including Tony Trischka, Sarah Jarosz and Jefferson Hamer, as well as being one part of the BBC Folk Award winning Songs of Separation.
Michael is a multi-instrumentalist, music teacher and old time banjo enthusiast living in Scotland. His mission as a musician is to keep things simple - clear melody lines underpinned by solid, infectious rhythm. Recent collaborations include with Wayward Jane (Edinburgh-based UK/US folk and roots music 4-piece) and 'Faultlines', a collection of Lisa Fannen's poetry set to music.
"I had to just stop what I was doing and sit down when I played this wonderful recording for the first time. So exciting to hear such a diversity of old and new tunes and depth of expression, all in the language of old time music, but at the same time reaching out. And Hannah’s singing is intimate and so sweet! It’s an exciting peek in the direction “traditional” music is going. Congratulations Hannah and Michael, on this wonderful new piece of musical work!" - Bruce Molsky, master of old time fiddle, banjo, guitar and song
"Hannah and Michael have arrived at a way of playing old-time music that’s refreshingly dynamic, expressive, and toneful. Every track makes me feel like I’m sitting right next to them, eyeing my fiddle case, just hoping they’ll let me join in." - Stephanie Coleman, old time fiddler
"Fiddle/banjo duets date back at least as far as the mid-1800s and probably even farther than that. In more recent times, Earl Scruggs would often dapple a show by partnering with the Foggy Mountain Boy’s fantastic fiddler Paul Warren. Hannah Read and Michael Starkey are carrying on that tradition with great beauty and energy. Hannah’s fiddling is incredibly varied and powerful. Michael’s clawhammer playing is totally in the pocket, warm and perfectly matched. In addition, we are treated to Hannah’s mellifluous voice, which can melt a heart at 20 paces (listen to “Shenandoah”). There are so many joyful moments…..Hannah’s fantastically rhythmic and widely varied bowing on “Missouri Wagoner”, linked with Michael’s five-string propulsion, is a case in point. Their playing is so locked in and uplifting that they lift us up with them - a state we all should be inhabiting in these difficult times." - Tony Trischka, world renowned banjo player