Bruce Molsky has learned to follow his heart. After a long career working in the building trades, he decided to give one full, uninterrupted year to the thing he loved best: old time country music. That was a long time ago, and he never looked back. A lot has happened...
As a solo performer and for myriad collaborations with musicians from pretty much everywhere, Bruce’s increasingly wide-angled approach to traditional music has influenced a generation of players and listeners.
Bruce’s collaborations drive his musical universe, like with Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny’s Mozaik, a true world music crossover. He tours with Shetland fiddle legend Aly Bain and Swedish master Ale Moller. His CD with hardanger player Annbjorg Lien and violist Mikael Marin (Vasen) was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. His participation in the CD "Abaraka!Tack!" from Swedish/Senegalese duo Ellika & Solo won the 2005 Swedish "Grammy.” Fiddlers 4 (Bruce, Darol Anger, Michael Doucet, Rushad Eggleston) was a 2003 U.S. Grammy Nominee, and is now back as The Old Time Kozmik Trio, with Darol and Rushad.
"Young people realize this is a guy who's tapped into the real deep emotional wellsprings of this music," says Matt Glaser, director of Berklee's American Roots Program. "He has a way of removing everything that's unnecessary; and young people are very hungry for something real. Bruce has that in spades."
Linda Ronstadt hears that same honest beauty in Molsky's singing. She placed his singing of "Peg and Awl" on her Rhapsody playlist, alongside Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, and Chet Baker. "Bruce has that ability to track deep emotion in his voice, without any unnecessary adornment," she says. "It's pared back to only the essential architecture of emotion.” And at that profoundly simple and profoundly difficult musical art, Molsky is truly old-time's master craftsman.
And Bruce returns to Pickathon this year with a great crew...
Jim Miller has been performing traditional and country music for decades (he and Bruce played in a band together in 1975), but his recording career dates back even further! At 8 years old Jim sang soprano and toured the Canadian Prairies with the Saskatoon Boys Choir. Thirty years later he co-founded the roots-based band Donna the Buffalo. He toured with that band for 15 years, performing across the US at festivals such a Bonnaroo, Rhythm & Roots, and Telluride. In addition to five CDs with DTB, Jim has recorded with Tim O’Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Ginny Hawker, Carol Elizabeth Jones, Dirk Powell, and Tara Nevins. He also writes books about moths and butterflies, and played electric guitar with Louisiana legend Preston Frank as a member of Big Daddy Zydeco.
Tatiana Hargreaves first met Bruce at a music camp in California when she was 11. Even at that age she blew everyone away with a depth of feeling and virtuosity for old time fiddle that is really rare. Since then she’s made a big mark in the old-time music scene, taking first place fiddle her first time entering the Appalachian String Band Festival (“Clifftop”) contest and becoming the youngest winner in the history of the Oregon Oldtime Fiddle Contest. Bruce produced her first CD “Started Out To Ramble” a couple of years back, and she has been on stage with the likes of Uncle Earl, Sara Watkins, Crooked Still, Mark O’Connor, Darol Anger, and Laurie Lewis.
Rushad Eggleston really can't be described in the English language very well; he prefers the indigenous tongue of the land of Sneth, from where his inner energy really emanates. By his own description, he "was born in a log cabin in Big Sur, CA... fell in love with music upon discovering rock-n-roll and guitar, at age 12. Disenchanted with school, quit homework, practiced all day, got into cello... won full scholarship to Berklee music college where everything changed. Invented bluegrass cello, made whole new styles of playing." After stints with Fiddlers 4, Crooked Still and his own Tornado Rider, he rides into the Kozmiks with a cello voice that's like the most propulsive and elegant of steam engines imaginable.
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