Watercarvers Guild | Balladeers and Aeronauts

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Folk: Folk Pop Country: Bluegrass Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Balladeers and Aeronauts

by Watercarvers Guild

Whether you like melody, or poetry, or great guitar work, or sweet Irish fiddle & mandolin, or driving bass and rhythm guitar, or grand piano, or a pleasant mixture of them all.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sailing Away
5:03 $0.99
2. Captain Maxwell
3:52 $0.99
3. Another Fall
3:04 $0.99
4. Waiting For You
4:38 $0.99
5. Carolyn's Ramble to Cashel
3:27 $0.99
6. Neil Young Fan
3:21 $0.99
7. Self-Made Man
4:25 $0.99
8. Amelia
5:19 $0.99
9. Straw Into Gold
5:09 $0.99
10. Angel In This House
5:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

David Casey has written a great collection of songs for this album, character portraits mostly. The two “aeronauts” on the CD are Vincent Lunardi, the first air balloonist, in a song called “Sailing Away” with delightfully, soaring Celtic fiddle and mandolin; and “Amelia”, a soulful, melodic song about Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean,who was lost at sea. There’s a light-hearted, bluegrass tune called “Neil Young Fan”, and the last song, “Angel in This House” is a very moving portrait of a young woman performed on piano, guitar, fiddle and bass. Yet the meaning of this song is somewhat elusive, and listeners have varying opinions about this woman and her fate.

Watercarvers Guild is especially honored to have Nollaig Casey, their Irish cousin, add her incredible talent on fiddle to the first and last songs of this CD. Nollaig Casey is one of Ireland's most gifted musicians, with her own unique way of playing traditional Irish music on the fiddle and such an utterly distinctive sound that it would be impossible to mistake it for that of anyone else. This “sound” is so attractive to other musicians that there exists hardly any major Irish artist of the last twenty years with whom she has not worked. Nollaig has also recorded and worked with Enya, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Nanci Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Rod Stewart, Emmy Lou Harris, Steve Earle, Mary Black, and The Indigo Girls.

Watercarvers Guild performed at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle with Nollaig and her guitarist husband, Arty McGlynn in the spring of 2002, while the duo were in Seattle on their first U.S. tour. You can hear Nollaig Casey’s beautiful fiddle on “Sailing Away” and “Angel in This House.” Nollaig also has a new solo album called “The Music of What Happened.”

Watercarvers Guild would also like to acknowledge Dean Morrissey, whose imaginative artwork graces the cover of “Balladeers and Aeronauts” with his painting, “Sleeper Flight”. This beautiful painting is from Morrissey’s 1994 book, “Ship of Dreams”, which was awarded "Best Illustrated Children's Book" by The New York Times Book Review. “Sleeper Flight” seems to glow with the hope and promise of adventure and the same holds true for this collection of songs. There’s room for the listeners to jump in and find themselves in this music and spark their own imaginations.


The short version of their bio might read:
“Watercarvers Guild is a father and sons band who share a love of acoustic music and who are very dedicated to their art. Their onstage ribbing reveals that they’re family; their level of musicianship - that they’re true craftsmen.”

Watercarvers Guild has been steadily gaining recognition and respect since they officially became a band in 2000 and began touring the Northwest in 2001. Featuring fingerstyle guitarist Darrell Casey and his sons David and Nathan, Watercarvers Guild is an acoustic trio of multi-instrumentalist/singers who have been playing together since David and Nathan were old enough to pick up instruments. While their music shows influences of folk, Celtic, bluegrass, and pop, it’s the intricate dialogue between instruments and voices that is the signature sound of Watercarvers Guild. Music is clearly its own language for this family band; and one that they speak fluently.

Darrell, a professional musician since the early 70’s, grew up with music, picking one of his father's guitars off the wall when he was 8. He went through an electric phase before acoustic inspirations like Paul Simon and James Taylor changed his style. Two successful fingerstyle solo guitar CD’s in the 1990’s led to full-time performing.

David began "picking at the piano" at age 4, and switched to guitar only when he couldn't fit a piano in his room at college. By his teens he was composing his own music and by 18 was performing in his first band, Happy Cactus, along with Colin Meloy, of Decemberists fame.

By 2000, David had become a prolific songwriter. He and his dad recorded their first Watercarvers Guild CD and began performing as a duo. Shortly thereafter, Nathan finished high school and joined the band on bass and vocals.

Darrell notes that the image of father and sons performing together brings to more than a few minds the nostalgia of Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band," a tribute to his father's influence on his music. Watercarvers Guild doesn't play "Leader of the Band," he said, but there's something very special about a dad and his kids playing music together. "It's a lot of fun, for one thing," he said. "Sometimes I look around me and say, (and I think other people do, too) 'Boy, that's got to be great…playing music with your sons. 'And, yeah, I certainly do feel that way."

However it also makes for a complex relationship, "because you're relying on each other when you're performing, and it might be that I am leader of the band in a certain way, but David has a very charismatic personality and such a strong stage presence. And, we're in business together, where you have to have some sort of shared artistic vision. And all those different aspects of the relationship come to a head sometimes. Those things don't always mesh when you underlie that whole thing with one of us in the role of being the father." Darrell says he sometimes has to remember that he may be the dad, but it's way past that stage now. "To put things on an equal footing is sometimes difficult, but it is also very gratifying."

Watercarvers Guild is currently a member of several performing artist rosters, including Arts Northwest, and has performed on the main stage of many of the region’s best festivals. They’ve also performed at some of the best venues in the Northwest, including the Tractor Tavern, the Panida Theater, and the Tower Theatre. With the release of their latest CD, Balladeers and Aeronauts, the group intends to expand their horizons, reaching new audiences.

For more about Watercarvers Guild, visit their website at www.watercarversguild.com.



to write a review

Dan Sprehe

Just phenomenal
I have been listening to their first album, Est. 1973, since it came out, and it wasn't until last month (2/2010) that I discovered Balladeers. The many gigabytes on my iPod are useless, as I've only been listening to these songs ever since I first heard them. No matter how many times I hear their music, it inspires me every time. The reviewer Joe Hyde said it best, "....melt away."

CD Baby

From the exquisite cry of the fiddle to the sparkling, crispy ring of the mandolin to the warm rumble of acoustic guitar backing heart-centered male vocals reminiscent of David Wilcox, Watercarvers Guild features a wide variety of folk-based songs from those dancing on the edges of bluegrass and country folk to straight-up singer/songwriter styles. Always keeping the journey fresh, upbeat and clear, they deliver a solid disc of ten solid songs, each fully inhabiting its own world. Their ability to blend and move freely between moods and colors is noteworthy and makes "Balladeers and Aeronauts" a recommended album.

Michelle Condon

WOW ! This CD puts a smile on your face and is easy listening
I put this CD in while I had to pay bills one afternoon. This is one of the worst tasks I do. I was smiling and listening to the songs and I was able to actually enjoy the task at hand thanks to this CD.....WOW !

Joe Hyde

A real gem, superb song writing - they\'re incredible musicial talents. Sit back, turn it on and melt away.


Without a doubt, a must have! This one I stumbled onto and was pleasantly surpri