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Countercurrent | Exchange

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United States - Washington

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Folk: Contra Dance World: Celtic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Countercurrent

An electrifying album of fiddle tunes, songs, and creative arrangements from Alex Sturbaum & Brian Lindsay.
Genre: Folk: Contra Dance
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Spike Island Lasses / Cape Rock / Neckbelly
5:42 album only
2. Old Bangum
3:31 album only
3. Fiddler's Prerogative
3:40 album only
4. House on the River
4:00 album only
5. The Legacy / The Tumbledown / Manus Lunny's Terracotta Plower Pop
4:39 album only
6. Lazy John / Mariposa
4:47 album only
7. Sonya's Waltz
3:16 album only
8. The Square Root of Two
2:36 album only
9. The Stride / Good Morning to Your Nightcap
5:38 album only
10. Maguire and Paterson / Cozy
6:07 album only
11. The Old Favorite / Dweller on the Threshold
7:05 album only
12. Sunshower / Lindsey and Lindsay
4:01 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Countercurrent is a contra dance and folk music band from western Washington, featuring driving guitar, foot percussion, lyrical fiddle, and harmony vocals. Over 8 years of playing together, Brian and Alex have developed a style that brings forth the joy and nuance in the music they play. The combination of Brian’s technical and tasteful tune-smithing with Alex’s punchy rhythms and gifted song-writing is not to be missed. As they spread their music across the Pacific Northwest and beyond, Countercurrent continues to push their own boundaries with new compositions, lively arrangements, lush harmonies, and driving grooves.

Following the success of their self-titled EP, Countercurrent's debut studio album "Exchange" features an even bigger sound. Drawing on their wealth of experience playing for contra dances, Alex and Brian crafted this album to meet the desire to fill a dance hall with the swelling, joyous music that carries you with it and makes you feel weightless as you dance along.

Track Info:

1. Spike Island Lasses / Cape Rock (Brian Lindsay) / Neckbelly (Sharon Shannon/Jim Murray)
Three traditional Irish reels. Brian learned the first tune from Brian Conway, and wrote the second while working on a goat farm in Cork. We got the third tune from the Transatlantic Sessions.

2. Old Bangum
This is a song with many versions in many traditions. The story of a guy who fights a pig resonates with folks, we guess.

3. Fiddler’s Prerogative
Alex’s dad, Arthur, flatly denies that he wrote this tune, but we’ve never found anyone else who knows or plays it. Until we do, we’ve named it after Arthur’s name for a crooked bit in a tune — and this tune has plenty of them.

4. House on the River (Brian Lindsay)
Brian felt compelled to write this song after a few short years of restoration work on Washington’s creeks and rivers provided a dismaying number of examples for the narrative.

5. The Legacy / The Tumbledown (James O’Grady) / Manus Lunny’s Terracotta Plower Pop (Phil Cunningham)
Three of our favorite jigs.

6. Lazy John / Mariposa (Jeremiah McLane)
We’ve been playing Lazy John for dances for a long time, and never get tired of singing it.

7. Sonya’s Waltz (Brian Lindsay)
A waltz Brian wrote in 2012, to celebrate Sonya’s birthday while she was abroad in Madagascar.

8. The Square Root Of Two (Andy Bean)
A little mathematical love song we learned from the excellent Two Man Gentlemen Band.

9. The Stride (Winifred Horan) / Good Morning To Your Nightcap
Exploring new things can yield wondrous fruits. We wander, and we embrace both the wind that pulls us towards distant horizons, and the roots that ground us to the past.

10. Maguire and Paterson (Robbie Overson) / Cozy (Brian Lindsay)
We’ve both known the first waltz since we were kids. Brian wrote the second tune while missing someone on a cold and stormy night.

11. The Old Favorite / Dweller On The Threshold (Van Morrison)
We were game when Alex’s spouse Rae suggested that we try playing Dweller for contra dances, but none of us were anticipating what a special space it would come to occupy in our repertoire.

12. Sunshower (Alex Sturbaum) / Lindsey and Lindsay (Alex Sturbaum)
Alex named the first tune after a common meteorological phenomenon in the Pacific Northwest and the second in honor of caller Lindsay Dono and, of course, Brian.

Alex Sturbaum: acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar effects, vocals, bouzouki, bodhran
Brian Lindsay: fiddle, vocals, banjo, mandolin, snare drum

Recorded and mixed by Brian Lindsay at Studio 4123 in Seattle, WA
Mastered by Charlie Pilzer at Tonal Park Mastering in Takoma Park, MD

All tunes and songs traditional except where noted

Album design by Brian Lindsay, with drawing by Hannah Hamavid & photography by Doug Plummer

Countercurrent would like to thank: Our parents and family for the countless ways they have made this possible; Rae and Sonya for their love and support during the process of making this record; all of our Kickstarter donors who helped this album come to life, with a special thanks to Paul and Joan Franklin and Raphael Bivas; the contra dancers of the Pacific Northwest for nurturing us and helping us grow as a band; and everyone who has come out and danced to our music!

Special thanks to Colm MacCárthaigh for the use of his studio space.



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