Shift – Moving Celtic Music
Driving reels, melodic jigs and heartfelt songs
Shift has been an active part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Celtic music scene for a little over two years. Despite this short tenure, Shift has generated a considerable and enthusiastic base of support from local, national, and international musicians and music lovers alike. The three band members draw from their backgrounds in traditional music and lend their talents to this trio's exhilarating blend of tunes and songs.
Jason Huntley's fiddle rips and roars through fast-paced instrumentals, while taking on softer, melancholic tones for slow airs and songs. He gives voice to songs that range from rousing pub sing-alongs to love-lorn bluegrass numbers.
The guitar playing of Emily Bryant provides the dynamic rhythmic undertone that sets the mood for the band. Her vocals offer a warm, gentle, folksy sound that compliments songs, old and new.
The percussive rhythms of the traditional Irish bodhran are brought to life by Scottish drummer Craig Scotland. Not only does he keep up with Jason's fast paced fiddling, but Craig’s drum is the pulse that drives the music.
Jason Huntley was raised in rural Iowa and grew up playing both piano and violin. While classically trained, it was his grandfather’s Monday night Irish fiddle lessons that had the strongest influence. Jason spent most summers at bluegrass, old time, and Irish music festivals in the Midwest. Among Jason's musical accomplishments: three-time Mid-American Irish Fiddle Champion, two-time Mid-American Old-Time Fiddle Champion, and selection as the Grand Champion Fiddler at the 2001 Iowa State Fair. Before moving to Dallas in 2004, Jason was a member of the nationally recognized Barn Owl Band who were featured on National Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor in 2002.
Emily Bryant grew up in Louisiana and has been immersed in various forms of traditional music since childhood, learning the guitar at the age of 11. While an undergraduate in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, she discovered the active Celtic music scene throughout the south and southwest and became deeply involved in learning Irish music and dance. After spending an academic year in Cork, Ireland, Emily moved to North Texas in 1998 and established herself as an accomplished rhythm guitar accompanist and vocalist in the traditional Celtic music scene. She was a founding member of Idle Road, a group that reinvigorated the Dallas-Fort Worth ceili scene with their lively performances of traditional dance music and dance calling. Emily is also an active member of the Trinity Hall Session Players, a group of traditional musicians in Dallas who rotate in weekly formal session performances at the Trinity Hall Irish Pub and Restaurant, as well as a member of the local Celtic five-piece band, Gallus.
Craig Scotland was raised on the mean streets of Dunfermline, Scotland. Craig often heard drums (and voices) in his head. He took up the bodhran after he moved to Ireland and spent six years playing traditional music with some of the best young trad musicians in Ireland. Many of his fellow Gogarty’s alumni can be found playing in Celtic powerhouse bands including Danu, The Fureys, and the Eileen Ivers Band. Craig moved to Texas, that hotbed of Celtic culture, and was one of the founding members of Gallus. In his spare time Craig enjoys raising Chia pets and his lifelong pursuit of Barbra Streisand memorabilia.