Genres:Folk, Kids/Quirky, New Age, Country - Bluegrass, Specialty - Soundtrack Alternatives, Specialty - Americana/Western
String-band music has long been a staple of Americana. While the four members of the Creaking Tree String Quartet pay homage to that tradition, they refuse to be bound by it. Instead, the technically dazzling outfit uses fingerboards to leap stylistic boundaries and fuse intricate styles. The result is a smartly intellectual and yet deeply moving sound that's a true Canadian original: jazz forms sliding over a rootsy bluegrass base, with flashes of chamber music, reverence and avant-garde experimentation. It’s the product of four adept and accomplished musicians, dedicated to performing unique and exciting material that raises the bar for instrumental acoustic music. Mandolinist Andrew Collins, guitarist Brad Keller, bassist Brian Kobayakawa, and violinist John Showman earned a JUNO Award nomination in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year:Group catagory, for their 2003 debut CD. Their 2005 follow-up “Side Two” won the Pushing The Boundaries trophy at the 2005 Canadian Folk Music Awards, was named Instrumental Album of the Year at the Indie Acoustic Project Awards, and “Old Crow” won Instrumental Song of the Year at the International Acoustic Music Awards. The band has just released their third album "The Soundtrack", produced by Grammy Award winning producer Bil VornDick. The new album was nominated for Instrumental Album of the year at the 2009 JUNO awards and won the Best Instrumental Group and the Pushing The Boundaries trophies at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The Creaking Tree String Quartet are a ridiculously talented Canadian four-piece who take the string band sound that is the root of bluegrass and proceed to shatter one's preconceptions. The Soundtrack, their third album, is a technically brilliant and often stunning collection that sees the quartet bringing jazz, classical and avant garde styles to the table and blending them seamlessly into their own irreverent but extremely listenable style. With mandolin, violin, bass and guitar all able to perform their own little flights of fancy, in the hands of lesser mortals it may easily have ended up as a musical dog's dinner; that it doesn't is testament to the skills and ingenuity of all concerned.
- Rock 'N' Reel (UK) Magazine.
"It’s a beautiful album full of virtuosity and emotion, a lovely balance for a moment when the only activity is listening."
- Umbrella Music.
"There’s a great deal of depth and variety—not to mention dexterity—in the quartet’s organic instrumental music."
- Relix Magazine.
"The Creaking Tree String Quartet debut is one of the best... This is organic music, presented with a wry sense of humour, and featuring some of the best up and coming musicians east of the Mississippi. ...The playing is just superb, these guys are fantastic"
- Disc of the Week, Bandwidth, CBC Radio 1.
"One of the Top 5 Albums of 2003"
- Acoustic Guitar