This CD was featured on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" on August 2, 2008! You can listen to the wonderful interview with Grey and Cindy, conducted by host Andrea Seabrook, at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93130817.
Cross the Water is a collection of vivid and expansive music from the acoustic folk duo of Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen. Their sound is transparent and deep, interwoven with renaissance and baroque-style counterpoint, and colored with alto and bass vocals, steel-string guitar, wooden flutes, tin whistles, fiddles, concertina and the lush harmonic drones of the Indian harmonium (reed organ). The songs and tunes span the range from contemplative to energetic, are highly original and deeply rooted in folk traditions of Ireland, New England, Appalachia and Scandinavia. The songs express courage, longing, mystery, optimism and joy while evoking imagery of the sea, sky, wind, rivers, rock and earth. Multi-leveled and lovingly crafted with space and understatement, the music builds in plenty of room for the listener's imagination.
Here are descriptions of each track on the CD:
1. Courage (Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen) 6:16
A song of questions and searching co-written by Cindy and Grey (the chorus started out as an e-mail from Grey to Cindy). Cindy sings and plays guitar; Grey adds vocal and Irish flute harmonies.
2. The Humours of Trim/The Moons of Jupiter/Mulhaire's Jig
Three velvety jigs with Grey on tin whistle accompanied by Cindy on harmonium, a reed organ from India. The middle tune was composed by Grey, the other two are traditional Irish.
3. The Eighth of January/Black Mountain Rag (trad.) 2:59
Rousing traditional southern Indiana fiddle tunes that Grey learned from his 79-year-old friend and neighbor, fiddler Joe Dawson. Cindy accompanies with guitar.
4. October Song (Robin Williamson) 4:13
Robin Williamson's mystical autumn song, with Cindy singing and playing the fiola; Grey accompanying on harmonium and low whistle.
5. If You Say Yes (Cindy Kallet) 4:35
Cindy's election year (and beyond) song about optimism and finding hope in the face of a world filled with "No". Cindy sings and plays guitar; Grey sings harmony and plays the Irish alto flute.
6. Playing with a Full Deck (Grey Larsen) 3:32
A wild and crazy Norwegian-Balkan-style fiddle and fiola duet in 13/8 time, written by Grey on the occasion of Cindy's 52nd birthday (52 divided by 4 = 13). He turned 52 the same month, so finally they both play with a full deck.
7. Lull Myself Asleep (Dillon Bustin) 3:59
Henry David Thoreau conjures up memories of his former neighbors on a snowy winter night, as set to music by Dillon Bustin and arranged by Grey. Grey sings and plays harmonium; Cindy adds fiola and vocal harmonies.
8. The Swallowtail Reel/The Wind that Shakes the Barley/The Merry Harriers
An Irish flute and guitar duet of three very old Irish reels that Grey learned from his mentor and friend, the late Michael J. Kennedy. A sweet and slow start, building to an energetic end.
9. Fisher's Hornpipe/Old Leather Britches (trad.) 2:42
Two rare tunes from Grey's neighbor, fiddler Joe Dawson: asymmetrical southern Indiana fiddle tunes accompanied by Cindy on guitar.
10. Once (Cindy Kallet) 4:09
A sparse and dream-like song of Cindy's, accompanied by guitar and Grey's voice, harmonium, and Irish alto flute.
11. Your Love (Cindy Kallet) 3:39
A song of parted lovers that fell into Cindy's lap while she was driving on a long trip. Whimsical and sweet, accompanied by Grey on muted guitar and concertina.
12. The South Shore (Grey Larsen) 3:05
An energetic three-part jig written by Grey many years ago, inspired by the joy of returning home to his family after distant travels and too much time apart. Grey plays concertina; Cindy guitar.
13. Cross the Water/Little Girl (Cindy Kallet) 6:04
Two of Cindy's songs; the first, a series of snapshots of the moods of life and water; the second, a look back at childhood from the perspective of a Native American woman in New Mexico.
Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, each well-known and loved for their decades of music making, have joined musical forces in a new duo. Cindy is a superb singer, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Grey is one of America's finest players of the Irish flute and tin whistle, as well as an accomplished singer and concertina, fiddle, piano and harmonium player. As composers each has contributed to the unique tapestry of contemporary folk and world music as it exists and flourishes in America today. Together, they weave songs and tunes of vibrant color and rich texture.
Scott Alarik of The Boston Globe calls Cindy "...one of folk music's most respected songwriters... provocative, heartwise, and original ...a brilliant guitarist... ". Mike Joyce of the Washington Post calls Grey "... a gifted multi-instrumentalist who consistently demonstrates his melodic finesse," while The New Mexico Daily describes his playing as "positively spellbinding".
The duo's repertoire includes Cindy's sparkling original songs, distinctive settings of traditional Irish music, Scandinavian fiddle duets, old-time fiddle and guitar tunes from southern Indiana, and new music that Cindy and Grey are inventing together. There is plenty of variety and breadth of musical territory here, all deeply rooted in folk traditions, and interwoven with the renaissance and baroque counterpoint in which both Cindy and Grey, coincidentally, were immersed while growing up. Included are vocal duets, guitar, Irish flute, Irish alto flute, tin whistle, concertina, harmonium, and duet fiddling, and plenty of stories that put the music into a personal context. For more on Cindy and Grey, please visit www.cindykallet.com and www.greylarsen.com.
For booking information, please click here: Represented by Charisma Artist Agency, www.charismaartist.com