The Bee Eaters boasts four of the most accomplished, creative young talents of the new generation, tracing roots back to the musical traditions of Bluegrass, Old-time, Celtic, Jazz and Pop. The quartet combines the strong, striking music of hammered dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman and banjo phenomenon Wes Corbett with the inimitable sound of brother-sister fiddle duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge. Tristan, an inventive cellist and 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion, tours with Crooked Still and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings and has performed with Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky, and Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon Natalie MacMaster. His sister Tashina, the 2005 Grand National Fiddle Champion, has toured with Mark O’Connor and Tony Trischka and has performed at Carnegie Hall as part of MacArthur Fellow/Grammy-winning bassist Edgar Meyer's Young Artists program. Since starting banjo at age 16, 22-year-old Wesley Corbett has toured internationally with North Carolina’s bluegrass sensation The Biscuit Burners and appeared with the David Grisman Quintet, Matt Glaser, and numerous other groups; he also currently tours with Joy Kills Sorrow. Wesley’s longtime musical collaborator, hammered dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman, has performed with Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, opened for Bill Frisell, and at 16 was a scholarship guest artist at the Augusta Heritage Festival in West Virginia. His sophisticated rhythmic sense and ingenious tonal flexibility, on an instrument usually considered limited, has created a buzz among musicians all over the world. The result of the foursome’s collaboration is an elegant fusion of tradition and innovation. The Bee Eaters are a powerful creative force at the forefront of the emerging New Acoustic music scene. Their first record, produced by Darol Anger, was released in early 2009.
"Featuring Simon Chrisman on hammered dulcimer, banjo phenomenon Wesley Corbett, 2005 Grand National Fiddle Champion Tashina Clarridge, and her younger brother, five-time Grand National Fiddle Champion Tristan Clarridge, on fiddle and cello, the band applies its unusual instrumentation to a program of smart, buoyant tunes, mostly by Corbett and Chrisman.....the quartet combines chamber music's finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass's playful virtuosity and pop music's melodic resourcefulness." -The Boston Globe
“The Bee Eaters are the instrumental cream of the brand new string nation. Harking back to the “grand old days”, when virtuosos seemed to spring onto the scene fully formed with a whole repertoire of brilliant music nobody had ever heard before, somehow these kids have absorbed everything we had to offer and alchemized it into a whole new musical world.”
“It is a joy to hear both the exploration of this music and the grounding of it simultaneously. Also, I love the emphasis on the simple beauty of the acoustic instruments."
“These Bee Eaters have bowled me over! Their bodaciously brilliant bowing and banjoing, the mellifluously magnificent malletwork, and impeccably impressive ensemble work leave me breathless. Compositionally, creatively, Clarridgely, and new acoustically (or whatever category you want to assign to them), they inhabit the highest rung of the musical ladder. Their music excites, heals and enriches. Listen often.”
“The Bee Eaters’ extraordinary of hammer dulcimer, 5-string banjo, Fiddle and instrumentation Cello immediately sets them apart from the rest of the string band world. But this band is no novelty. progressive The textures are rich, the tunes are engaging and the playing is masterful. The interplay between the cascading dulcimer and the rolling banjo is truly a great sound.”