Ryan McKasson, Eric McDonald and Jeremiah McLane are masters of tradition who purposefully explore the dark corners floating on its edges. Their individual artistry is enhanced when together. In short, the sum creates a greater whole. The result is an alluring complexity, full of spontaneous musicality. Pulling from parallel strands of influence, they create a swirling level of intensity that traverses darkness, light, and everywhere in between. An air of mystery pervades a sound compelling enough to transcend boundaries and appeal to music lovers of all stripes. Devon Leger of Hearth Music says, “This trio really shows how masterful musicians listen and play off each other." The music they create is to share, and live performance is the forte. But their mutual attitude stretches beyond the music. They have been good friends ever since they met, and this is present in their live performances, which are full of organic banter and good humor to go along with the music. They create an environment of their own design, drawing in listeners without pretense. Despite living active musical lives thousands of miles apart these musicians have committed to working together to forge a new musical path.
“Ryan, Eric and Jeremiah create music together that is at once energetic, sublime, pensive, thought provoking and jubilant.” — Steve Behrens, 67 music
“There’s a certain spontenaity at work as the three musicians alternately contest and duel, combine and coalesce to bring their talents together.” — Tim Carroll, Folkwords.com
“The narrative power of McDonald’s vocals joins the darker riffs of McKasson’s fiddle [and McLane’s soulful accordion] for an album with pluck, depth, and good reels aplenty.” — Rachel Lynne Wilkerson, folkradio.co.uk
ryan mckasson (fiddle)
Ryan McKasson has gained a strong reputation as a performer, composer,collaborator and teacher. In 1994, he began attending Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School (VOM), which led him deep into the world of traditional music. In 1996 he became the youngest ever to win the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship and in 1997 he was awarded a Merit Scholarship for Viola Performance from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Donald McInnes. Ryan's professional career took a step forward when in 2004 he spearheaded the formation and development of "The McKassons". This group released two critically acclaimed albums, Tall Tales (2004) and Tripping Maggie (2006). Over the years Ryan has recorded with a number of influential artists, namely his playing appears on fellow Scottish fiddle champion Hanneke Cassel's three albums Silver (2006), For Reasons Unseen (2009), and Dot the Dragon's Eyes (2013), as well as Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas's recording Highlander's Farewell (2011). In addition to McKasson & McDonald, other current projects include MAC, Ensemble Galilei and The Syncopaths.
eric mcdonald (guitar/vocals)
Eric McDonald found his way to traditional music through the rich local music scene in his hometown Boston. Nearly a decade after studying at Berklee College of Music under world renowned musicians such as guitarist/mandolinist John McGann and cellist Eugene Friesene, he is now established as one of the USA's premier accompanists in many styles. Eric cut his teeth playing for contra dances in New England, and can still often be seen from the dance floor. Nowadays he is an active session player, regularly recording and traveling with musicians of many stripes. Touring credits include The Outside Track, Andrea Beaton, Wendy MacIsaac and Katie McNally. In addition to McKasson & McDonald, he can currently be seen touring with the lively trio Daymark, Scottish powerhouse Cantrip, and award winning singer/songwriter Connor Garvey. In addition to guitar accompaniment, Eric's debut solo album Rove features his unique style and approach to tunes on the mandolin, as well as carefully crafted deliveries of traditional ballads on voice and guitar.
jeremiah mclane (accordion)
Jeremiah was raised in a family with deep ties to both its Scottish heritage and its New Hampshire roots. Traditional New England music and dance were a part of his parents and grandparents generations. After an early formation in classical piano, Jeremiah spent his teenage years playing blues and jazz, studying with legend Gary Peacock in university. He then studied Indonesian Gamelan, West African drumming, and the music of minimalist composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass. It wasn’t until his mid twenties that Jeremiah began to immerse himself in the world of traditional Celtic and French music, studying accordion with Jimmy Keene and Frederic Paris. He then spent several decades traveling in Europe, doing field research that laid the groundwork for a Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. In the early 1990s Jeremiah formed two bands: The Clayfoot Strutters and Nightingale. Both bands had strong traditional New England roots and had a deep and lasting impact on the traditional dance scene in New England. Jeremiah has recorded over a dozen CDs with Nightingale, the Clayfoot Strutters, Bob & the Trubadors, Le Bon Vent, and with Ruthie Dornfeld. His second solo recording, Smile When You’re Ready, was nominated by NPR in their “favorite picks”, and his fifth release, Hummingbird, with Ruthie Dornfeld, received the French music magazine “Trad Mag” Bravo award, as did his CD Goodnight Marc Chagall with Le Bon Vent. He has composed music for theatre and film, including Sam Shepard’s “A Lie Of The Mind”, and been awarded the Ontario Center For The Performing Arts “Meet The Composer” Award, and the Vermont Council On The Arts “Creation Of New Work” grant.