Rock energy coexists with old-time mountain soul. Spooky backwoods melodies combine with hip hard-hitting beats. Raw, searing blues riffs intermingle with high heavenly vocals. Sound good? Here's the catch:
No electricity. No drums.
Meet Crooked Still, the hot young alternative bluegrass group on a mission to bend the boundaries of traditional music. The unlikely combination of banjo, cello, and double bass drives this low lonesome band, whose soaring vocals and high-wire solos have enraptured audiences all over North America and Ireland since 2001.
Four very unique musical personalities merge to form Crooked Still. Aoife O'Donovan's refined, sultry vocals float over Rushad Eggleston's rumbling cello riffs, Dr. Gregory Liszt's futuristic four-finger banjo rolls and Corey DiMario's pulsing bass lines. The resulting acoustic fusion can warp a traditional American tune to the brink of unrecognizability without sacrificing the authenticity of the original sources. "It's almost like we're going back and making imaginary history,'' says Eggleston, whose versatile cello style has already sparked a revolution among young cellists. ``What if the 1920s Appalachian musicians could've heard the music we hear now?'' If only...
In the spring of 2001, singer O'Donovan and bassist DiMario were classmates at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. Unbeknownst to them at the time, just across the river in the laboratories of MIT a young cellist named Rushad Eggleston from the Berklee College of Music met every night to jam with Greg Liszt, then a graduate student and aspiring banjo player. A serendipitous meeting at a late-night party brought all four of these musicians together for the first time, and Crooked Still was born in the summer of that year.
As its members finished school, Crooked Still frequently performed around Boston, collecting rave reviews from the local press, notably the Boston Globe, Northeast Performer, and the Boston Herald. The band's fan base grew until it became almost impossible to get into the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge when Crooked Still took the stage. A trip to the North American Folk Alliance in 2004 resulted in invitations to perform at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and historic Newport Folk Festival. Hop High, the debut album from Crooked Still, was released at the prestigious Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in July, 2004 and was the top-selling CD at the festival that year. Following the success of this first festival appearance, Crooked Still has appeared at concert halls, nightclubs, coffeehouses, and festivals in twenty-three states and three different countries. This grassroots endeavor frequently lands Hop High among the top ten best selling CD's at the online independent megastore CD Baby.
For more information, individual bios, and tour schedule, please visit http://www.crookedstill.com
To hear the members of Crooked Still with other projects, look for the following artists on CDbaby.com:
Sometimes Why (Aoife)
Lissa Schneckenburger (Corey)
Hanneke Cassel (Rushad, Corey, and Aoife)
Laura Cortese (Corey and Greg)
Flynn Cohen (Aoife, Rushad, and Greg)
The Mammals (Aoife sings some harmony)