"Randal Bays and Roger Landes are two Americans who play extraordinary Irish traditional music. They're a classic fiddle and bouzouki duo who play with a straightforward passion that is hard to find in any genre. Their repertoire also includes solos and duets featuring Randal's fingerstyle guitar or Roger's mandolin wizardry." Traditions - Olympia, WA
Bays and Landes are two master musicians who have recorded and toured with many of the great Irish musicians of our time - Tommy Peoples, Martin Hayes, Frankie Gavin, Daithi Sproule, and many more. Their new CD, "House to House" is an exciting, all LIVE recording of a series of house concerts around the U.S., crackling with energy and good humor., available on Foxglove Records
Randal Bays - Irish Fiddle & Fingerstyle Guitar
"Bays is the genuine article." - The Rough Guide to Irish Music
Among the many Americans who play Irish fiddle, Randal Bays is one of the few to find serious acceptance and respect for his music in Ireland. His 2005 release, “House to House” (with Roger Landes) was selected by the Irish Times as one of the top five traditional recordings of the year, and the Cork Examiner called him "a rare beast, a master of both the fiddle and the guitar.”
Randal describes his music this way: “The real heart and soul of Irish music is the small session in a house or pub, just a few players gathered together for some tunes and fun. You start to play, and the next thing you know, the sun is coming up. That’s the feeling I try to recreate in my concerts.”
Bays has performed all over the U.S., Europe and Canada, including appearances at major festivals such as the Gaelic Roots Festival in Boston, the San Francisco Celtic Music and Arts Festival, the Festival Des Musiques-Vivantes in France, the Willie Clancy Summer School and Festival in Ireland, the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina, Augusta Heritage Week in Elkins, West Virginia, the Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp, the Alaska Irish Music Festival, California's Sebastopol Festival and many more. Randal has recorded or performed with many great musicians, including James Kelly, John Williams, Daithi Sproule, James Keane, Martin Hayes, and Tony McManus.
Randal is a co-founder of the Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp in Friday Harbor, Washington, and is also an album producer and composer who’s created original scores for several award-winning films and documentaries. Randal now lives in Washington state.
“Masters of the Irish Guitar” – 2006 Shanachie Records (compilation)
“Katy Bar the Door” – 2006 (Foxglove Records)
“House to House” – 2005 (with Roger Landes) (Foxglove Records)
"Overland" - 2004 (with Dáithí Sproule) (Foxglove Records)
"The Salmon's Leap" - 2000 (Foxglove Records)
"Out of the Woods" - 1997 Solo album (Foxglove Records)
"Pigtown Fling" - 1996 with Joel Bernstein (Foxglove Records)
"Wind on the Water" - 1995 (Foxglove Records)
"Under the Moon" - 1995 with Martin Hayes (Green Linnet Records)
“Steam” – 2002 with John Williams (Green Linnet Records)
"John Williams" - 1995 with John Williams (Green Linnet Records)
"Martin Hayes" - 1993 with Martin Hayes (Green Linnet Records)
ROGER LANDES - Irish Bouzouki and Mandolin
"Not only is Landes helping to legitimize the instrument -- he is
taking it to a whole other level." Cliff McGann Celtic Heritage
After playing guitar in several "garage" bands in his teens, Roger took up the classical guitar during his first year in college. Progressing quickly, he devoured the standard guitar repertoire and within two years was teaching full time. Soon, his interest shifted from the 19th Century works in that repertoire to works from the Renaissance and Baroque, and then to European dance music from the Middle Ages. His initial interest in Irish music was sparked by hearing a recording by The Chieftains, when he was struck by a certain similarity between medieval music and modern traditional music. He soon obtained a bouzouki and set about learning the intricacies of Irish and Scots dance tunes and accompaniment.
In 1982, Roger helped form the popular Celtic group Scartaglen. He appeared on the recordings: Scartaglen, The Middle Path and Last Night's Fun. In 1993, with Scartaglen, he contributed one track to the best-selling Narada Records collection Celtic Odyssey, which was on the Billboard charts for almost two years. Roger performed for some years in a duo with singer and keyboardist Connie Dover, and more recently with fiddler Randal Bays. During his decade with Scartaglen, Roger Landes established himself as a first-rate accompanist and arranger. Since the dissolution of that band in 1994, he has emerged as a master soloist, performing Celtic tunes on the bouzouki, mandolin, and guitar with dazzling technical skill and creativity. He is also gaining recognition as a producer and composer. Roger's first solo CD, Dragon Reels, was recorded in Nashville with Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Bil VornDick. Released in 1997, it has garnered unanimous critical praise. Dragon Reels was reissued on the Dorian Group label in September of 2001.
Roger is in great demand as a teacher, and has been on the staff at Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp, Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week, Milwaukee Irish Festival Summer School, and at the Seattle Cittern Symposium. He is also director of ZoukFest, the first international gatherings devoted to the bouzouki in 1998 and 1999. ZoukFest moved to Roger's new hometown of Taos, New Mexico in August 2001, and since then has grown into a full-fledged World Music Camp, with the addition of classes for many other instruments and vocals, in a range of musical styles. Roger has produced recordings for Michael Dugger (At Early Dawn), Chris Grotewohl (Under the Influence), Dan Grotewohl (Bear in the Greengrass), and Celtic group Gabriel's Gate (Departures).
Roger appeared in and contributed to the soundtrack of the 1999 film Ride with the Devil, directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). He has appeared on the National Public Radio shows Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion. In April 2001, his music was featured in a PBS documentary, "Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie. In October of 2002, Roger joined Spanish Galician musician and Chieftains alumnus Carlos Nunez in his first tour of the US, and has recently toured in a trio with Irish fiddler Frankie Gavin and harmonica virtuoso Rick Epping, and also toured with the great Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples.