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Traditional Irish band Story Road will feature Hanz Araki on their upcoming spring tour.
After two members of Molly’s Revenge (Santa Cruz, CA) joined forces with vocalist Colleen Raney (Portland, OR), the trio calling itself Story Road became one of the premier traditional Irish bands on the West Coast. With a live show that ranges from driving dance tune medleys to heart breaking songs of love and immigration, they have earned the love of trad music fans from Santa Barbara to Seattle over the past four years.
Story Road will be joined by for this tour by accomplished flute player and traditional singer Hanz Araki. The son of Irish and Japanese parents, Hanz is recognized as a master at both Japanese shakuhachi and traditional Irish styles. In a career spanning twenty-five years, he has amassed an impressive body of award-winning Celtic music albums. Hanz’s father is shakuhachi grandmaster Tatsuya Kodo Araki, the fifth generation to inherit the name Kodo, one of the most important names in the world of traditional Japanese music. “Hanz” is short for “Hanzaburo,” the name of his great-great grandfather who developed the notation used in shakuhachi music even to this day. Irish Music Magazine recently called Araki “an Irish music phenomenon in West Coast America”
Portland, Oregon’s Colleen Raney is a gifted traditional singer who recently released her fourth album, titled Here This is Home which was produced by guitarist, singer, and producer Aidan Brennan and engineered by Trevor Hutchinson over the summer of 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. Among the finest interpreters of traditional songs of her generation, Colleen Raney grew up inspired by the Irish and Scottish songs and tunes in the rich Irish community in Seattle. Her four solo CDs have staked her claim as a serious presence in Celtic music today and provoked Hearth Music to enthuse, “Singing with a deep love for the tradition and the dark poetry of Celtic song, Colleen has been drawing new life from old ballads and renewing our love for Celtic music.” Tradconnect.com writes that Colleen is “one of America’s best traditional voices.” (Sept 2013)
John Weed and Stuart Mason are members of Molly’s Revenge, a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. Molly’s Revenge has performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA, and prestigious events in Australia, Scotland, and China. They have released 11 albums and appeared on stage with John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Aaron Jones, and other top Celtic artists. “There is an engaging freshness and yet an impressive maturity in their playing,” said National Heritage Award recipient Mick Moloney.
An accomplished fiddler across genres, John Weed has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the traditional styles of Clare and Donegal. The result is an old-time Irish fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, swing, and other American music. Stuart Mason has been collecting and performing traditional music for over 30 years. He has appeared on stage from Ireland to China performing Celtic, old time bluegrass, and his original compositions, which have won awards from the West Coast Songwriters Association. He is currently managing a fan funding campaign to help produce his second solo record, a compendium of old time acoustic Americana.