Three Mile Stone is:
Marla Fibish (mandolin, mandola, accordion, tenor guitar, vocals)
Erin Shrader (fiddle, vocals, mandolin)
Richard Mandel (guitar, tenor banjo)
This San Francisco-based trio plays traditional Irish music with lift, drive, and sparkle. Inventive tune arrangements, in which any instrument might take the lead or play backup, give way to poignant airs, traditional songs, or poems set to breathtaking melodies by Marla. Three Mile Stone has played together for years and is now finally releasing their debut CD, produced by John Doyle
The core of their sound is all strings—fiddle, mandolin and guitar playing Irish dance music—jigs, reels, and all the good stuff. Erin and Marla’s bold styles are well matched on fiddle and mandolin; they are prodded and propelled by Richard’s driving guitar back-up. To toss it up, Richard will put down the guitar and pick up the tenor banjo, and Marla might hand the mandolin over to Erin and pick up the button accordion. They round it all out with some choice songs. Erin is likely to grace and surprise you with lovely a capella songs from her collection. Marla is likely to accompany her singing with the mandola.
From the liner notes:
The first time I remember seeing Marla was in a little afternoon kitchen session at least twenty years ago at Lark Camp, a world music camp in Mendocino, California, where Irish music enjoys disproportionate representation. She was sitting across from me playing the mandolin, wearing an old grey plaid flannel shirt and ,as I recall, we both looked up at the same time which meant, "THAT was fun." It was also easy. About ten years later, Richard appeared at Lark with a guitar and was soon driving every session he could get into, far into the night. Some years after that, the three of us shared a moment of last-night-of-Lark magic over a song. On the strength of that magic, I finally moved to the Bay Area. It had always felt like my musical home more than anyplace else--and I've tried quite a few places. Finally, some years of foot-dragging later, we officially became a band. So, the album you hold in your hand is a milestone of sorts, not so much of miles, but of years. More than twenty years of listening, learning, leaning into a tune. Of life going on, with music on the side, yet always in the center, drawing you in like a campfire on a cool, damp night. Will you join us? --E.S.