A bold new sound has emerged in New England’s traditional music scene and they’re bringing it to SLO House Concerts in the new year: The Press Gang fuses the talents of squeezebox player Christian “Junior” Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson, flute-player and vocalist Hanz Araki, and guitarist Owen Marshall into a high-octane musical partnership. The quartet blends their skill and fluency in traditional Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles. The joy that these musicians pour into playing music together is unmistakable and infectious. The result is a unique sound; at once energetic and sensitive, innovative and reverent.
THE PRESS GANG perform the songs and dance music of Ireland. Based in Portland, Maine, these four musicians have become popular over the past nine years for their skillful playing and deep understanding of the music and for their humorous stage presence. They have just released their first album as a quartet—Fortune It May Smile—which they’ll be featuring at our house concert. We’ve been listening to this CD ever since we got a copy from Owen Marshall when he was here in October. We love the CD and look forward to presenting this stellar group and their music to you.
“An Irish music phenomenon in America” — Irish Music Magazine
“One of those rare bands that is ingenious, driving, thoughtful, and yet has great respect for the tradition.” — John Doyle
Christian “Junior” Stevens has become an influential member of the Irish Traditional Music community in America; particularly in New England where his proficiency at such a young age on both concertina and accordion was nothing short of phenomenal. Gracing stages across the country with some of the most talented artists in the world, he is an in-demand performer and teacher with an intensely dedicated following.
Alden Robinson learned the fiddle as a child in coastal Maine, and furthered his education in traditional music at University College, Co. Cork in Ireland. Over the past few years, he has become a staple of the traditional music scene in New England. Alden continues to travel throughout the U.S. and Ireland to expand his repertoire.
Multi-instrumentalist Owen Marshall is one of the most highly sought-after accompanist in the United States. With his unique sense of harmony and rhythm, he has traveled and performed all over the world with many of the top acts in traditional music. A demanding schedule doesn’t interfere with his pursuit of new and innovative sounds as a bedrock accompanist with a style that never grows stale.
Once called “a quintessential world-music musician,” award-winning singer and flute player Hanz Araki has been a prominent figure in the Irish music community in North America and beyond for more than 2 decades. In that time he has released 11 albums, played countless festival stages, toured nationally and internationally, and collaborated with a number of well respected musicians within and outside of the Celtic music genre.
House Concert Details
SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.
7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.
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