Abiding by a love for adventure, Corner House finds purpose and solace in the beauty of earth and music. While clinging wholeheartedly to studied traditions, the Boston based band has tended to write and arrange music liberally comprised of Irish, Scottish, Appalachian stringband, and bluegrass influences.
The singular roots music scene of Boston, MA has long been a destination for musicians seeking level footing to build upon. On winter eves most suited for warm tea and blankets, Ethan Hawkins (guitar), Louise Bichan (fiddle), Ethan Setiawan (mandolin), found a musical home in one another. After debuting at FreshGrass Festival in North Adams, MA and touring Scotland, the three found the illustrious cellist, Casey Murray, living just down the street and invited the contra-dance influenced player to join the fold. With a new recording featuring the updated lineup on the way, Corner House is aimed to make an impact in 2019.
Violinist Maura Shawn Scanlin and guitarist Conor Hearn unite to form “Rakish.” The pair gets their namesake from the traditional Irish tune Rakish Paddy, an origin that aptly suits the duo and their shared background in traditional Irish and Scottish music.
Yet “rakish” itself also suggests something strikingly unconventional in its appearance, and Maura and Conor knowingly embrace this wealth of connotation in their music, drawing on the music they grew up with and performing it with their own slant. In a performance that is something more akin to concert music, Rakish explores tunes and songs from Irish and American folk traditions in a way that reflects their shared interest in and love for chamber music and jazz. Maura Shawn, a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion and a winner of the Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition, wields the technical range of an accomplished classical violinist and the deep sensitivity of a traditional musician. Conor, a native to the Irish music communities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, makes his home in Boston playing guitar for a number of traditional music acts and bands. As a duo they have performed on Front Row Boston, Brian O’Donovan’s Burren Backroom Series, and they can be heard on broadcasts of WGBH’s “A Celtic Sojourn.”