Phil Elsworthy and Ed Koenig are releasing The Crooked Path, an album of mostly Celtic and Appalachian tunes using guitar, fiddle, mandolin and tambourine at The Albion 2nd Floor in Guelph on Sunday November 30 at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover for this event. Phil Ellsworthy and Ed Koenig joined us in the studio for Folk Roots Radio Overtime from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday November 29.
Phil Elsworthy has played stringed instruments in a wide variety of settings since childhood. In the early 1970s he played bass guitar in rock, country and folk bands, and since 1980 he has played viola in the Kitchener Waterloo Community Orchestra. His love of folk music began when he was a teen, and he has long pursued an interest in traditional music of North America and the British Isles. For the past 17 years he has played fiddle in the Grand River Ceili Band, and has been a regular participant at traditional Celtic sessions in Southwestern Ontario. Phil is also a highly skilled cabinet maker and made both fiddles that he plays on The Crooked Path. Phil plays a unique pair of Norwegian-style Hardanger fiddles he made himself. One has eight strings, of which four are sympathetic strings that run under the others to make gentle drone. The other has ten strings, of which six are sympathetic. They give Phil’s fiddle a a mellow, resonant, singing tone that comes through beautifully, especially on the slow solo parts.
Ed Koenig has played Celtic music and other traditional styles that feature stringed acoustic instruments for many years. During the 1970s and early 1980s he pursued a fulltime career as a musician (guitar player and singer/song-writer) which allowed him to develop as a performer and recording artist. Since then Ed has taken on more casually musical involvements, which may actually have encouraged his explorations of various musical styles. Since the early 1990s he has been especially interested in Celtic tunes and in blending them with North American traditions. He began attending Celtic sessions regularly about twenty years ago. Since 2000 he has played in the Grand River Ceili Band (guitar, mandolin, and Irish banjo), which is based in his hometown, Waterloo, Ontario. He has taught at the Riverside Celtic College (guitar and mandolin) since 2007. Ed also has an academic interest in traditional music cultures, and has taught ethnomusicology courses at Mount Allison University. While in New Brunswick (and PEI) he participated regularly in sessions that featured interesting blends of Celtic and Acadian music. Ed Koenig has also released an album of solo Celtic fingerstyle Christmas tunes, Peace On Earth.