Oliver the Crow
“Within a week of meeting each other, we began mapping musical ideas and plans to record an EP,” cellist Kaitlyn Raitz says of her first encounter with fiddler Ben Plotnick, before they even lived in the same city.
The term mapping is spot on. Each of the ten original songs on Kaitlyn and Ben’s first full-length offering unlocks a different musical world. Oliver the Crow navigates effortlessly between the gravitas of chamber composition, the longing of folk music, the near dreamlike quality of atmospheric sound art, and above all, pop music’s candy-sweet escape. It’s no wonder NPR Music has named their duo “an inspired collaboration.”
Kaitlyn and Ben’s chameleon-like ability to skip between genres stems from their roots as classically-trained performers (Kaitlyn has a masters degree in classical cello from McGill University and Ben has performed as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic) but also from their love of bluegrass, gypsy jazz, everything from Hank Williams to Prince. Raitz is a founding member of folk duo Bride & Groom, tours with The Bombadils and has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Station Inn. Ben is a primary member of the JUNO award-winning folk string quartet, The Fretless, and has contributed to hundreds of recordings as one of North America’s elite fiddle players.
One thing is certain: Oliver the Crow cannot be defined by genre, and yet is timeless, indelible. Kaitlyn and Ben have mastered the art of anchoring a folk song in epic pop sensibility, and it is so fun to hear them smash all the rules.