High praise for Creaking Tree 

Unique acoustic style nets Creaking Tree String Quartet a Juno nomination, music industry acclaim

Who: Creaking Tree String Quartet

Where: MY Place

When: Monday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m.

It’s hard to sum up the Creaking Tree String Quartet with a just few choice words.

All I could come up with on short notice was "a sound that wakes you up to the world of sounds, and to the infinite possibilities in music."

A little poetic maybe, but after hearing the album and seeing this band live in Whistler last month it’s hard to be anything else.

It seems I’m not the only one who feels that way, either. Since their first self-titled album came out in March of 2003 reviewers have been gushing about the Creaking Tree String Quartet:

"It’s a beautiful album full of virtuosity and emotion, a lovely balance for a moment when the only activity is listening," wrote a reviewer for Umbrella Music.

"The music crackles with imaginative and sometimes manic instrumental interplay. As tight and polished as it is improvisational and exuberant," said the reviewer for Acoustic Guitar Magazine, who also voted it one of the top-five acoustic albums of the year.

Bandwith, a CBC Radio 1 show, noted: "This is organic music, presented with a wry sense of humour, and featuring some of the best up and coming musicians east of the Mississippi. The playing is just superb, these guys are fantastic."

Toronto’s NOW Magazine – an urban paper famous for not liking anything – said "Their fluency in the musical vocabulary of the Celtic, classical, bluegrass and jazz traditions makes the uncommon blend sound completely natural… unlike the Creaking Tree, relatively few (musicians) can boast inventive new compositions to match their chops."

The band also garnered a Juno nomination in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year category, but Creaking Tree mandolin player Andrew Collins says the acclaim hasn’t gone to their heads.

"We’re ambitious, and yeah, we’re insecure like most people, and it’s always nice to be recognized and hear people say nice things about you, but for us the best part is feeling that we’re on the right track musically," he said.

"All of us are professional musicians, we play music for a living, and we’re all perfectionists in our own way. We all work hard on what we do, and to get complimented on your work is just the best feeling in the world."

Music is everything to Creaking Tree. The band, which also includes stand-up bass player Brian Kobayakawa, guitarist Brad Keller and fiddler John Showman, is made up of professional musicians with ties to more than dozen bands, ranging from traditional bluegrass to modern jazz.

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