Coming to Stone Church Arts: Canada's Andrew Collins Trio

BELLOWS FALLS: Bluegrass, jazz, classical and swing will be on tap when the Andrew Collins Trio performs this Saturday, March 10 in the Chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, located at 20 Church Street in Bellows Falls. Penguin Eggs declared, “Boundaries? What boundaries? Mandolin player Andrew Collins ignores them all!”


PRESS RELEASE * Photos courtesy of Stone Church Arts

In his native Canada, Collins has received rave reviews. The Toronto Star wrote, “Light of touch, fast of wit, copiously imaginative, and a musical scholar of the highest distinction, Toronto mandolin virtuoso pulls out all the stops.” Exclaim! Magazine declared, “To call Andrew Collins a master of the mandolin would be putting it mildly.... artfully arranged string music perhaps best described as 'chambergrass' shines through – 4/5 stars."

The mercurial, 5x JUNO-nominated, seven-time Canadian Folk Music Award winning mando maestro Andrew Collins finds himself – through no actual fault of his own – at the epi-centre of Canada’s burgeoning acoustic/roots music scene. He didn’t invent it, but he's certainly a major contributor, having co-founded seriously noteworthy Canadian bands like the Creaking String Quartet, the Foggy Hogtown Boys and, more recently, the Andrew Collins Trio.

As Collins gathers up innumerable awards and nominations by these various ensembles, Collins, who’s comfortable on mandolin, fiddle, guitar, mandola and mandocello, is zeroing in on the work he does with his beloved trio: fellow string guru Mike Mezzatesta, whose versatility and mastery shine through on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and mandola, and in-the-pocket James McEleney, holding it down on the bass, mandocello and vocals.

Showcasing a popular collision of bluegrass, folk, jazz, classical and swing, not to mention a dizzying number of instruments on stage, Collins and Co. appear to live by the old adage, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” all the more because their new CD, And It Was Good, even tackles the Creation story itself – likely keeping him just ahead of the devil’s grasp. Their equally dynamic genre hopping show is further enhanced by Andrew’s captivating lead vocals and James’ soaring harmonies.

On the new offering, the trio push into new territory, brilliantly rendering each of the 7 days to secular, musical fruition in this new, "chamber grass" disc. And It Was Good IS good – a labour of love inspired by the late Oliver Schroer, if not overseen by his musical specter. The result is a lush-sounding, multi-layered composition bringing fresh meaning to an age-old story while demonstrating the depth of musicianship from each of these three inspirational players.

Despite taking musical cues from David Grisman, Andrew, Mike and James have ventured further down this path of Newgrass and beyond - melding multiple genres after absorbing each of their boundaries – all towards extrapolating brave new musical worlds that can only be thought of as their own ‘creation’. Nothing less will do.

Join Stone Church Arts in discovering what all the hoopla is about on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St., Bellows Falls. Tickets in advance are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors and $45 for premium, reserved seats. At the door, prices increase by $5 to $25 general admission and $20 for seniors. Information and advance tickets are available in person at Village Square Booksellers on the Square in Bellows Falls, by phone at 802-460-0110, and online at www.stonechurcharts.org.