Mr Sun comprises 3 generations of some of the sharpest minds to apply themselves to the American String Band. Legendary fiddler Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent, and represents the original "nuclear" generation of pickers who extended Bluegrass, Jazz, and Classical music to find their common ground. Joe K. Walsh is recognized as one of the foremost contemporary mandolinists, with 4 award-winning years in the Gibson Brothers. Joe has also won acclaim and affection for his vocals and his guitar and octave mandolin work. Grant Gordy is a standout in the crowded field of Acoustic Guitar Wunderkinds. Grant's work has been widely recognized for its kaleidoscopic excellence and startling emotion, fusing Jazz and Bluegrass concepts to an unprecedented degree. The group recently added the spectacular young bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, who currently studies at Curtis Institute with Edgar Meyer. Ethan is one of the most virtuosic and versatile bassists anywhere, and is now helping to revolutionize the bass's role in American String Music.
The 4 musical points-of- view in Mr Sun are so strong and personal that one might imagine the group could explode but for the palpable love and humor that emanate from every note they play. The group means to take a relaxed approach to rewriting its own chapter in the American Music Saga, with a new CD on the way, entitled The People Need Light.
The music of Folk-Noir Balladeer, Rachel Sermanni, has the flesh of Folk but, if you were to cut the skin, you’d find it pumped with contemporary, genre blended blood.
Born under a rainbow, in Raigmore hospital, on the 7th November ’91, Rachel Sermanni has grown into a writer, musician and artist. In all that she creates, it seems, there remains a preservation of the pure and mystical, symbolic in that beam of fragmented light that shone, 24 sun-spun years ago.
In 2011, Rachel Sermanni released her first EP, The Bothy Sessions, recorded quite spontaneously, deep in a Highland forest with 10 friends. Soon to follow came the studio EP, Black Currants. And on the 12th September 2012, Rachel’s debut Album, Under Mountains, was set free into the ether. Produced by Ian Grimble (Travis, Manic Street Preachers, Texas…) and recorded at Watercolour Studios nestled among big, purple hills in the West Highlands, Under Mountains was Rachel’s first full musical contribution to the world. And the world opened it’s doors. Following the release, Rachel tramped for 4 years across the globe.
In this 4 years, on top of the non-stop touring, two more EP’s and a live album were born. First, The BoatShed Sessions, recorded in the same raw element and ethos of the Bothy Sessions. Then a studio recording, Everything Changes, produced by Alex Newport (Bloc Party, City and Colour, Death Cab for Cutie) in New York City.
‘Live in Dawson City’, recorded during a festival in the Yukon, came in early 2014, with the help of two fond accomplices: Jennifer Austin on piano and Jimi Troup at the sound desk.
In March 2014, hiding in the sticks of Nova Scotia, Rachel sowed the seeds of her latest creation. Tied to The Moon is Rachel’s sophomore studio album. It was released in July 2015 to wide spread critical acclaim. The songs follow the theme of being ‘Like a Moth’; of being in darkness but drawn to the flame. To hear it is to take a walk in the moonlight.
Rachel Sermanni’s creativity hasn’t burgeoned without help, of course. Friends, family members, peers, teachers and employees have always been supportive and often very wise in their advice or observations. And you’ll find that most of her astrological being resides in the 5th house, otherwise known as The House of Fun. Whether you adhere to horoscopic notions or not, it works as a succinct explanation in this case: Having so much planetary energy in the 5th House means that Creation equals Existence; Creative expression equals Happiness.
Up Next: A digital EP of a special, soft and collaborative nature to be released mid July. The printing of a collection of Sonnets. The establishing of prints and original pieces of Rachel’s artwork to be sold online and on the road. And, of course, more tour.
All Rachel Sermanni’s records have been released on Middle of Nowhere Recordings, a label she helped create with Robert Hicks who lives in beautiful Ullapool in the North West. MONrecordings is now an established label with a growing roster of artists.