• Celtic
  • Old Time

Countercurrent is an acoustic folk music duo based in Olympia, Washington, composed of Alex Sturbaum and Brian Lindsay. They have achieved nationwide acclaim for their high-energy style, which draws on deep traditional roots from Ireland and North America while incorporating new influences to create a sound that is at once unique and timeless. Alex’s driving guitar and gifted songwriting, Brian’s lyrical fiddle and rock-solid foot percussion, and the duo’s lively interplay, tight vocal harmonies, and unstoppable groove make a Countercurrent performance an event unlike any other. Wherever they go, the question remains the same: “How does that much sound come out of just two people?”

Countercurrent met at Oberlin College in 2009 and have been performing at concerts, festivals, and dance events ever since. As concert performers, they have played at such venues as Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, and the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA. As dance musicians, they have regularly been the closing band for Northwest Folklife Festival, and have played for contra dance festivals and events all over the country.

Brian and Alex are highly collaborative musicians; in addition to Countercurrent, they have toured in other bands (including One Dollar Whiskey, Gallimaufry, and the Iona Fyfe Trio). They are also accomplished studio musicians, having recorded and produced over a dozen well-regarded albums of folk music over the last decade, including two Countercurrent albums: Exchange in 2018 and Not So, But Far Otherwise in 2023.

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