Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fine Times At Our House: Having Some Tunes with Ari and Mia Friedman and Owen Marshall

The best music that's ever been played in our kitchen happened a couple weeks ago.  After their performance at Ashland Coffee and Tea, musicians Ari and Mia Friedman and Owen Marshall came over and played a few tunes with my wife Laura, our friend Rick, and me!  Between the 3 of us (tenor banjo, bodhran and autoharp) and the 3 of them (cello, fiddle and guitar), we had us a good little session.
Owen Marshall, Mia Friedman and Ari Friedman
3/14/13 at Ashland Coffee and Tea - Photo by Kay Landry
As we started to play, Owen, Mia and Ari seemed to fall back on their Maine Fiddle Camp Instructor experience, able to support whatever us lesser musicians were doing without ever making us feel like we were in over our heads.  I had just seen them play a great show, so I knew what they were capable of, but in this setting they quickly adapted to playing the tunes at a more relaxed pace.  It was instantly comforting, and allowed me to play in a much more confident and flowing manner than I'm used to.

Because I'm not good at picking up new tunes on the spot and/or playing by ear, we mostly stuck to tunes I could already kinda play.  Some that we did included Coleman's March, Out on the Ocean, My Love is in America, Nail the Catfish to the Tree, Twin Sisters and Silver Spear.  Going from style to style and key to key with no restrictions.

We only played for an hour or so, but it was an extremely positive experience that will help push forward this hobby that has now become an obsession.  It was a pleasure meeting these musicians and I would say look out for Ari and Mia Friedman with Owen Marshall if they are playing in your area, and/or Owen's Irish traditional band from Portland, ME called The Press Gang.  (Check back soon for a review of their CD).

You may also want to check them out as potential instructors at Maine Fiddle Camp or elsewhere.  Mia's singing and fiddling was sensational, Ariel's cello seemed to be divine, and Owen Marshall's guitar accompaniment and lead playing puts him in a category with the world's best.  They made Maine Fiddle Camp sound like it was awesome, and I wouldn't mind some more exposure to that New England style of playing!

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