Boston-based Matt & Shannon Heaton offer well-travelled Irish music from the heart. Steeped in sessions in County Clare and brewed in the acoustic music scenes of Chicago, and Boston, their flute/guitar/bouzouki instrumentals and sweet husband-and-wife harmony singing draw deeply from the Irish tradition. Shannon has been compared to Alison Krauss and Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh for her combination of vocal grace and instrumental prowess on Irish flute, whistles and accordion. Matt has also received multiple Massachussetts Cultural Council Grants for his CDs of original rockabilly-tinged music for kids. He fronts surf-rock band Electric Heaters and also holds a master’s degree in classical guitar. Matt and Shannon are poised, passionate American performers with Irish roots and universal appeal. They are comfortable onstage and have a warm connection with their audiences. They move listeners with their love of traditional music (and each other), and their sense of adventure and fun in exploring new directions and possibilities.
Laura Cortese grew up in San Francisco’s Scottish Fiddle community and moved to Boston to study fiddle at Berklee College of Music. She has since immersed herself in the city’s vibrant traditional and indie music scenes, enjoying a busy sideman career, performing alongside Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall, Pete Seeger at Newport Folk Festival, and Patterson Hood and Michael Franti for Seeger’s ninetieth birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. She tours internationally with her band Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards.
After 15 years of performing together and recording on each other’s solo albums, Portland, Maine-based flute player Nicole Rabata and Boston-based fiddler Ellery Klein decided a group together was long overdue. With the addition of Bethany Waickman on guitar, the trio found a sound rooted in the traditional Irish music Ellery and Nicole honed during years abroad in the Irish cities of Cork, Limerick, and Ennis. The trio is also influenced by the depths of Nicole’s virtuosic classical music career, Ellery’s Americana sounds, and Bethany’s soft-spoken, yet driving, guitar playing. Fódhla have been well received at festivals such as Portland’s Saltwater Festival, the Maine Celtic Celebration, and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. Their debut recording, Notes from Millpond, was released in December 2015 to a sold-out show at Acoustic Artisans in Portland.