North by NorthWest is a collaborative musical effort between banjo player/guitarist, Dave Cory, and uilleann piper/flute player, Eliot Grasso.
"We had a great time playing together on a prior recording project in Portland during February 2006, so we thought it made sense to record an album together.
After our initial practice in the Seattle's Best Coffee shop on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Cherry Street in Pioneer Square, we felt like there was a lot to work with. We came up with a healthy dose of traditional tunes along with a few originals by Peter Fitzgerald and John Daly.
Meath-born Baltimore banjo player, Peter Fitzgerald, composed two jigs on the album: The Thrupenny Bit and The Bowels of the Earth. I learned them from Peter during my many years playing with him around Baltimore. I picked up John Daly's Slate Hill from uilleann piper Kieran O'Hare when I was visiting him in Chicago during 2003.
In late May 2006, I recorded a dozen or so tunes and mailed them to McGurk's Pub in St. Louis while Dave was doing a brief tour there. When he returned to the Northwest we had one more practice; Dave had all the tunes nailed.
June 9th brought us to sound engineer Mike Kelly at Eastside Recording Studios in Portland and the rest is on the disc."
About Eliot Grasso (uilleann pipes & flute):
Baltimore native and Seattle resident, Eliot Grasso, began playing Irish traditional music on the flute at age seven, tin whistle at age eight, and uilleann pipes at age eleven. Since 1996, Eliot has won regional and international first, second, and third place titles at the New York Fleadh Cheoil and Ireland's Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in the uilleann pipes and tin whistle division. Eliot has appeared on numerous CD projects, including A New Dawn (Na Piobairi Uilleann, 1998), a compilation recording of 6 pipers aged between 15 and 17 years, and Irish in America (Folk Legacy Records, 2001). His debut project "Standing Room Only" is primarily a solo album comprised of 11 tracks of traditional Irish instrumental tunes, including an original set of tunes.
About Dave Cory (banjo, guitar & octave mandolin):
Dave Cory hails from Bishop, CA where he began playing the guitar in his early teens. By age 16, Dave became infatuated with Irish tenor banjo and has never let go. In the late 90s and early 2000s, he spent a great deal of time playing Irish music around Boston with such exponents of the tradition as Dan Isaacson, Tina Lech, Ted David, and Peter Molloy. Now living in Portland, he performs and records regularly with such talents as Bridgetown, An Tua, Crumac, The McKassons, and Celhorn to name a few. Dave’s style is marked by impeccable rhythm, innovative variations, and abounding virtuosity coupled with profound understanding of the traditional idiom.