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Corner House 8/11/20 concert review by Ava White

The members Ethan Hawkins on guitar, Louise Bichan on fiddle, and Ethan Setiawan on mandolin first met in Boston, MA, in the Winter. They debuted in 2017 at the FreshGrass Festival before recording an EP and touring Scotland in 2018. Their cellist, Casey Murray, joined the group after their tour. Their musical repertoire pulls from the Irish, Scottish, Appalachian, and Bluegrass styles.

Unfortunately they will not be playing all together live because they are all quarantining separately, but we will be able to see a recorded video!

They appear to have a studio audience from where they are recording in Pennsylvania.

The first, a set of irish slip jigs, begins with guitar and mandolin on accompaniment, while the fiddle and cello trade the melody back and forth between them, until joining together. The tune switches, and the various instruments begin more nuanced parts before playing diamonds with the fiddle on melody. They soon return to a fully-fledged tune complete with synchronization, various instrumental parts, and clear melody and harmonies. The set ends with slow deconstruction, right back to melody. The next is a tune Louise wrote for a friend named Gabe.

Louise and Ethan begin the tune on fiddle and mandolin, then Ethan and Casey join in on chords. The tune arrangement includes a series of stops and starts, each instrument getting its own time to shine. The ending is abrupt and perfectly fitting for the energetic tune. A song whose energy can be best described as worn out with the world, begins with singular notes played in synchronous, that soon become an accompaniment. Ethan on guitar begins singing as Louise joins in for nearly every other line. It was a beautiful song.

This next tune was written for her brother, as his 21st birthday present. It begins with a mandolin rhythm riff, then Louise joins in on melody. The other instruments join in on accompaniment and add to the high-energy tune. The mandolin abruptly takes over the melody, and the other instruments gradually come in with layers. Another one of Louise’s original compositions, it begins with a guitar intro and cello high drone. The cello then becomes a part of the melody as Louise joins in, the two later diverging to include harmony. A beautiful tune that uses a guitar interlude to transition to an uptempo reel. Engaging chords and dynamics, with a wonderful ending. An arrangement that begins with guitar chords and a plucked cello. Ethan soon begins singing, as Louise occasionally adds her own vocals. The mandolin and fiddle slink in before the song approaches the chorus, and Louise performs a fiddle interlude. The chorus picks up energy as the tempo is strummed out by the guitar. The set ends with a slowed down ending.

A dog attempts to join the group, but is ushered away.

The next tune is called Smart Folks, and starts with a fiddle and cello riff as the guitar and big mandolin join in on melody. Louise soon takes the melody, and is joined by Casey. The guitar and big mandolin once again commandeer the melody as the set ends with all members plucking out the melody on their instruments. The next set is a song called Rolling Home, in which the instrumental introduction is reminiscent of a waterfall. The instrumentals utilize diamonds during the choruses, and they soon diverge into individual parts including solos and interludes.

Their concert finishes with a tune of Casey’s on the banjo. It begins slowly with Casey on the banjo and the others gradually joining in, before suddenly speeding up. A very enjoyable set, so much so that the live audience insists on one more set! The end with a fast set that begins on the mandolin with guitar accompaniment. The fiddle soon joins in on melody, and the wonderful energy continues throughout the set. Thank you so much for a wonderful concert! We’re looking forward to the upcoming music!