(Uncle Earl, Sometymes Why),
Laura Cortese (Halali) &
Tristan Clarridge (Crooked Still)
February 29, 2008
Somewhere between Cape Breton Island and
Kristin threw herself into learning how to dance – Karate Kid style. She moved to an old farmhouse which past and present artist residents had named “The Ranch.” There she literally woodshedded on a dozen Footworks dance routines. She cleaned up a broken-down tour bus in the yard and made it her bedroom. And that winter she wrote her first song (“Like the Snow”), set to the accompaniment of a lone snow shovel.
Kristin joined Uncle Earl in December of 2003, and quickly became the "utility g'Earl" in the band -- playing guitar, second fiddle, and harmonica as well as singing and clogging. Kristin is a songwriter with a new album of her own (Kiss Me Hello, produced by Nickel Creek bassist Mark Schatz). Her songs are also featured in her band Sometymes Why, a vibey vocal trio she started with Ruth Ungar and Aoife O'Donovan. She now lives in
"LAURA CORTESE is an exciting young fiddler-singer. Her music is a captivating, frisky mix of traditional grace and modern sophistication."
- Scott Alarik, The
Singer, songwriter and fiddler, Laura Cortese lights up the stage with a radiating smile, dazzling musicianship and uninhibited delight. She deftly strums, plucks and chops her fiddle behind her raw and rootsy voice. Forgoing the guitar and bass of the traditional rock band, Cortese tours nationally with indie rock/folk drummer Neil Cleary (Annie Hayden, The Essex Green, Erin McKeown). On her latest release, even the lost creek (February 2006), she couples the groove and polish of urban music.
Cortese's Irish American grandmother first handed her a fiddle at the age of 4. Eight years later, she discovered folk music in what seems like an unlikely place, the bustling metropolis of her hometown
In 1999, Cortese moved to
After college, Cortese traveled from coast to coast, from
For even the lost creek, Cortese and her band set aside a week to rehearse and record together, cooking, eating and sleeping at the Signature Sounds studios in Pomfret, CT. "Zack and I wanted to capture the synergy that people develop when they live and work together. After recording for five 13 hour days straight, we recorded the final album cut, 'Night Train to
A talented multi-instrumentalist, Tristan is the youngest person ever to win the Grand National Fiddle Championships, successfully achieving that title for three years consecutively. Beyond his extensive contest achievements, he is a brilliant acoustic-eclectic musician, spanning many genres of music and instruments with an individual style that is clearly unique and beautifully expressive. Mark O'Connor writes "It would be very difficult to detect Tristan's youth because of his mature phrasing and old time flair. He has a lot going on in that musical mind of his and will step out in life to make wonderful contributions through his music".
An inventive cellist, Tristan is one of the few in the country to adapt rhythmic Celtic and
Tristan joined Crooked still in late 2007.