Roger Gold (guitar) and Mara Shea (fiddle) started playing for contra dances in the mid-1990s. They quickly acquired a following of enthusiastic dancers and listeners who wanted a CD--and then more CDs. ELFTONES (1998) is their first album, now in its second printing. It was followed by two more: Mist-Covered Mountains, an album of waltzes; and The Moon and Seven Stars, an album similar to ELFTONES but done 3 years later, as they settled more in their own sound. In 2009, they released another well-loved album of Celtic ballads and instrumentals with Rhiannon Giddens, All The Pretty Horses, which features Rhiannon's beautifully rich vocals along with the Elftones' accompaniments.
Listeners frequently describe The Elftones' music as "amazing, beautiful, energizing" and "I can't believe two people are making all that incredible music--it sounds like 5 people up there!" Roger and Mara do much more than play all the notes really well. Both guitar and fiddle play equal roles, and balance each other--this is not a typical fiddle-with-guitar-backup kind of recording! Fiddle and guitar are partners, and the music becomes all the richer for that partnership.
Roger lives in Swannanoa, NC, where he works as a luthier and guitar teacher. Mara lives in Raleigh, NC, where she teaches violin and fiddle. Spare moments find them traveling throughout the US to play for dances, workshops, and concerts. Mara also plays for Scottish and English country dances across the US and Canada.