When Tin Kettle was formed in the summer of 2006 we thought we'd be playing more or less straightforward Irish traditional music, given Matthew's deep background and long immersion in that style. But other influences, like our interest in folk-based contemporary songwriters, and John and Sharon's experience with American southern mountain music, kept affecting our repertoire and arrangements. So like water finding its own course we float in the deep stream of the old Irish music while also branching out into the tributaries of...of...well, you get the picture.
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Tin Kettle is a Pennsylvania-based trio specializing in the dance music and songs of Ireland, played on concertina, fiddle, tenor banjo, tin whistle, guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. All three members are veterans of the Pennsylvania folk scene. The group features the vocals of Matthew Ward, a regular performer for Philadelphia Ceili Group activities. Matthew's extensive store of material includes songs by some of Ireland's finest contemporary songwriters as well as songs from the deep tradition. John Winship and Sharon Sacks, aside from their Irish playing, have long experience with American Appalachian music: Sharon currently plays banjo with Ladies in the Parlor, and John played for many years in the West Orrtanna String Band and the Orrtanna Mountain Steamers. You can hear this southern mountain influence in some of Tin Kettle's arrangements.