On mbira, banjo, and guitar, Brendan Taaffe reimagines old-time ballads in a way that invokes both Dock Boggs and Graceland, drawing deep from the well of American traditions to document a very personal present.
It is on the mbira that Taaffe has found a truly distinctive voice, blending African rhythms with Appalachian ballads to create a new sound that comes together with unexpected tenderness. What makes the combination work so well is Taaffe’s deep knowledge of both traditions—he has studied with musicians in both Zimbabwe and North Carolina, and brings the two together in a stunningly imaginative leap.
Brendan will be joined by Mark Roberts on gourd banjo. Mark has been bringing together Irish and old-time music in innovative ways for decades, performing with bands like the Touchstone, The Red Clay Ramblers, The Clayfoot Strutters, Childsplay, and The Sevens.
“A savvy composer who, like Abigail Washburn with the Sparrow Quartet or, more famously, Paul Simon, brings together disparate traditions into a seamless whole. The result is stark, stirring, and surprisingly accessible”
—Dan Bolles, Seven Days