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Andrew Collins Trio Image

Andrew Collins Trio

Canadian Folk Trio

5x JUNO (Canada’s Grammy equivalent) nominee and 7x Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando-maestro Andrew Collins and his fellow Trio string-meisters just borrowed a page from basic carpentry, hitting the nail on the head with their new, double disc (1 all instrumentals, the other all w/ vocals), cleverly called “Tongue & Groove”. 

You may already know the wildly exploratory Andrew Collins through his work with The Foggy Hogtown Boys, the equally mind-bending Creaking Tree String Quartet or the Trio, itself – but you’ll never put a label on him for his approach to folk, newgrass, jazz and even some chamber-oriented roots music. Showcasing a dizzying number of styles and instruments on stage, Collins and Co. appear to live by the old adage, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, likely keeping them just ahead of his grasp. Bending and blending genres, these musical shape shifters land somewhere between the re-imagined worlds of Béla Fleck and Newgrass invader, David Grisman.

Andrew’s skills on mandolin, fiddle, guitar, mandola, mandocello and smooth vocals merge with the rich talents of his trio mates Mike Mezzatesta (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, mandola) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello and vocals) and represent a back-to-basics visitation on what the band does best -- spontaneity of the stage and rapid-fire, improvisational exchanges. 

Tongue & Groove

A love for a finely crafted song is evident on Tongue – an 11-track celebration of vocal classics which provide the band with a launching point. From their rousing reinvention of Graham Nash’s “King Midas In Reverse” to the hard-driving murder ballad “Katy Dear”, the Trio explodes with expert instrumentation and high lonesome harmonies. Collins’ soothing vocal atop the original “Black Veil”, a fiddle-led, arco-grounded backstory to the traditional “Long Black Veil”, conjures the music of North meets South as twin violins and bass graft it to an old country sound. Louis Prima, Kevin Breit, Ray Price and Roger Miller are all visited here.


Likewise, fans already attuned to the Trio’s instrumental prowess will thrill to the second half of the presentation, Groove – featuring 8 originals on this 11 track offering, highlighting the band’s inventiveness on their tools of choice. From the dark-toned, pensive edge of Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye Blue Sky” which moves from moody greys before erupting into a boisterous “Ship In The Clouds”, revealing a semblance of light and utter hopefulness, to the uptown sass and hot jazz swing of “Badabada Ba Ba”, these trio mates command a turf that can only be called their own. The rip-cut of “The Long Dusty Road” is a mando-fired reel that features Collins’ high end fiddle work, forging a string-driven harmony that takes this happy-sounding, Celtic-flavoured track out into the burren.

“Collins is a staggering mandolin player, able to achieve extraordinary speed, variety and nuance, whilst also being equally fluent on mandocello, mandola, guitar and violin. And that’s just on this album: the band appears to switch and shape-shift between instruments and roles with absolute assurance and ease… phenomenally talented”
Folking.com – UK

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Email: peter@fishrecords.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0)1785 282839

Mobile: +00 44 (0)7768 480336

Post: The Old Farmhouse, 8 Walton Bank, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, ST21 6NH