Tickets may still be available at the event, other ticket outlets, or the box office.
Event type: All Ages
Becky Tracy (fiddle) and Keith Murphy (guitar, mandolin, piano and foot percussion) are dynamic performers of traditional music from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ireland, France and beyond. Tracy’s fiddling pulses through tasteful arrangements of dance tunes and resonates with beauty on traditional slow airs. Keith’s gentle and expressive singing in English and French is balanced by the drive and power of his guitar playing and foot percussion. Combined, they produce a range and richness of sound that is striking for a duo. Their playing is seamless, the result of years of playing together and touring across the U.S., Canada and in Europe.
Their repertoire also includes Keith’s original compositions. He is a prolific tunesmith with a writing style strongly based on traditional dance music. Keith and Becky were two thirds of the popular Vermont trio, Nightingale and are veterans of several other bands including Childsplay and Assembly (Keith) and Wild Asparagus (Becky). Becky’s solo recording, Evergreen is an album of haunting beauty, intimacy and exuberance. Keith’s most recent solo recording, Land of Fish and Seals – a beautifully sparse collection of traditional songs from Newfoundland and New England has been highly acclaimed. Together they very recently have recorded a duo album - Golden.
A native of Newfoundland, and a past performer at Old Sod concerts, Keith's traditional song repertoire is based in Eastern Canada and Quebec as well as his current home, Vermont. His direct and intimate style of traditional singing in English and French infuses old ballads and songs with a powerful immediacy while his rhythmic and percussive finger style of guitar playing brings new shape and colour to his songs.
Keith is an accomplished composer and arranger. His versions of traditional songs have inspired recordings by other groups including Solas, Uncle Earl and Great Big Sea. Several of his compositions have been featured on the recent Ken Burns’ documentary on the Roosevelts. Keith is a faculty member of the Brattleboro Music Center (BMC) and the artistic director of the BMC’s Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival in Brattleboro Vermont which he founded in 2008.
Becky Tracy has dance music in her blood. Her grandparents were active in the dance scene around Boston in the 1930’s and were involved in the early years of NEFFA (New England Folk Festival Association) – still an important institution in the New England dance scene. Becky herself began playing for contra dancing in Maine, bending her early classical training to the demands of dance music. Later, she studied Irish fiddling styles with Brendan Mulvihill and Eugene O’Donnell and French Canadian fiddling with Lisa Ornstein.
All these elements combined to give Becky her distinctive clarity of tone, a rhythmic attack owing much to French Canadian playing and the melodic quality of Irish music. Her sound is unmistakable. She has been a defining presence in some of the most popular and innovative contra dance bands to come out of New England. She has performed for dance events and concerts in about 40 states across the US, as well as Canada and Europe and is a popular fiddle teacher at summer music camps.
“Becky Tracy's fiddling is strong and expressive, whether she's singing out a melody, weaving in a harmony or providing a rhythmic riff. Keith Murphy not only plays superbly on mandolin, guitar, piano, and on his feet (providing foot percussion); he also has a fine singing voice.” Folkworks.org.
“A rich program blending slow airs and lilting dance tunes with songs in English and French.”
Cutoff is Friday, May 15, 2020 5:29 pm EST unless it sells out earlier.