The music of five times JUNO nominee and seven times Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins (Foggy Hogtown Boys, Creaking Tree String Quartet) can broadly be described as folk, bluegrass and jazz though as a composer, it’s all about creating new original acoustic music and trying not to sound like other things. His most recent recording, the critically acclaimed instrumental concept album “And It Was Good” (2016) was based on the biblical seven days of creation – one track for each day of creation plus the title track to wrap it all up. Andrew Collins is now back in the studio working on a new project, two separate but connected albums – one a vocal selection of mostly reworked and reimagined cover songs, the other an album of new instrumental music. In live performance, the Andrew Collins Trio, featuring fellow string-meisters Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello), love to take the audience on a fun ride that effortlessly moves from folk to new acoustic roots, to bluegrass, and jazz, with some fine interplay on a variety of stringed instruments, punctuated by lead vocals from Andrew Collins and fine harmonies from his bandmates. Andrew Collins sat down with Jan Hall at the Folk Music Ontario conference to chat about his current projects and future plans, and played an instrumental and a couple of songs live for us. For more information about Andrew’s music, visit andrewcollinstrio.com. You can find an interview recorded at the time of the release of And It Was Good HERE. Music: Andrew Collins “Banish Misfortune” (live), “Coming Into Hard Times Blues” (live) and “Nothing About Us” (live).
Time to run down our favourite albums of 2016. One of the best things about doing a radio show is getting loads of great music to audition each week. Like every year, I’ve enjoyed some wonderful recordings – much of it by independent artists with little backing to support their music, and careers. One of the hardest things to do though, is to narrow down all the fabulous music that we received to our ten favourite recordings of the year. It’s never an easy thing to do, but do it I must, if I’m to bring you Folk Roots Radio’s The Best Albums of 2016.
Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins joins us on this episode to chat about his fabulous new album “And It Was Good”. And it is… very good, and nominated for both Instrumental Group of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. We also take a look at some of other nominees for the 2016 awards – this time we focus on the category of Young Performer Of The Year.
Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins had already achieved greatness as an in-demand session player and part of Toronto’s famed Foggy Hogtown Boys and Creaking Tree String Quartet before setting out with his own Andrew Collins Trio, to create something very special indeed for their second effort “And It Was Good”… a concept album that uses as its theme, the biblical seven days of creation story, referenced by the eight individual tracks, that merrily criss-cross musical borders. The Andrew Collins Trio – Andrew Collins on mandolin, mandocello, mandolin and little fiddle, accompanied by Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello) with support from the Phantasmagoria String Quartet (John Showman and Trent Freeman on violins, Ben Plotnick on viola and Eric Wright on cello) serve up music that takes in classical baroque, jazz, bluegrass, folk and celtic influences with a nod to the crossover work of the late great Oliver Schroer, in a format that, because of the prominent strings, has been described as chambergrass. And It Was Good is a fantastic album – sublime, even – and an album that deserves to be listened through from beginning to end. The Andrew Collins Trio have received a well-deserved nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards and Andrew Collins along with David Travers-Smith is also in the running for Producer of the Year. The Andrew Collins Trio will be bringing the new album to Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Friday October 21 at 8:30 p.m. For more information and to get tickets, visit hughsroom.com or call (416) 531-6604. Music: Andrew Collins Trio “Light From The Darkness”, “Firmaments” and “And It Was Good” from “And It Was Good” (2016, Self)