The Bee Eaters brings the long-standing string traditions of bluegrass, classical, jazz, Irish and old-time music into the 21st century.
The trio, which keeps addresses on the East and West coasts, is between recordings and actively touring. They're scheduled to perform this fall in Hawaii and this winter in Europe and India, but before all that they'll stop off in Southern Oregon and play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the historical Lincoln Library, 15097 Highway 66, three miles past the Green Springs Inn, east of Ashland.
Who: The Bee Eaters
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
Where: Lincoln Library, 15097 Highway 66, Greensprings
Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door
The Bee Eaters is cellist Tristan Clarridge, fiddler Tashina Clarridge, and Simon Chrisman on hammered dulcimer. Brother and sister Tristan and Tashina Clarridge grew up in Northern California and moved to Boston in 2008 to be part of the area's great music scene. There they met and recruited Chrisman, who is from Bainbridge Island, Wash., along with a fourth musician, Wesley Corbett, who is no longer with the band.
Since 2008, original, multigenre, progressive string music has been their thing.
In one article, The Boston Globe praised the trio for its ability to combine "chamber music's finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass's playful virtuosity and pop music's melodic resourcefulness."
The group's 2011 release "Oddfellows Road" was named after the street where Chrisman grew up. The album was recorded live at a church in Belmont, Calif., mixed by sound engineer Dave Sinko of Nashville, Tenn., and features 11 songs, including nine original instrumentals, along with new renditions of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is." Grammy Award-winning vocalist Bruce Molsky sings on the latter song.
Tashina Clarridge says the recording captured the natural reverb from the church and has a "little bit of that sitting in your living room playing for yourself feeling." Clarridge's personal favorites are the rich and textural "Theodore's Waltz," which "taps into a pretty deep emotional place," and the polyrhythmic title track "with lots of moods."
"It (the song "Oddfellows Road") is in the time signature of seven — a complex meter that's not traditionally used in American folk music," she says. "It challenges us, but also opens it up to be less dominated by what we've done before."
The Bee Eaters will teach a roots-music workshop for all levels of musicians from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the library. The cost is $25 for the workshop, $25 in advance and $18 at the door for the concert, or $35 for both. Call 541-552-1665 or see www.beeeaters.com.