The group is one of many adventurous string bands to emerge from Beantown’s steaming cauldron of young acoustic musicians. They utilize the familiar bluegrass instrumentation, but their sound moves in very different directions.
Banjo player Wes Corbett takes a stab at defining their approach…
“Joy Kills Sorrow is rooted in the tradition our instrumentation would suggest, but our song writing and arranging is decidedly modern, and very influenced by sources outside of the bluegrass vernacular.”
Clearly true, as these brief audio samples from the new album attest.
Jason: [http://ss.rvtc.us/sites/default/files/samples/02 Jason Clip.mp3]
Surprise: [http://ss.rvtc.us/sites/default/files/samples/04 Surprise Clip.mp3]
One More Night: [http://ss.rvtc.us/sites/default/files/samples/09 One More Night Clip.mp3]
Lead vocals are provided by Emma Beaton with Corbett on banjo, Matt Arcara on guitar, Jacob Jolliff on mandolin, and Bridget Kearney on bass. All are virtuosic performers and, despite their youth, come to the band with impeccable credentials – and awards even!
Arcara is the winner of the 2006 National Flatpicking Championship at Winfield, Beaton is the 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Young Performer of the Year, and Kearny the winner of the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Corbett has just appeared on the cover of Banjo NewsLetter, and Jolliff was awarded a full scholarship to the Berklee School of Music.
Not too shabby.