“To put it lightly the boys tear it up. The fiddle is all over the place and sounds like a bird exploring the vast possibilities of flight. It unleashes a ball of energy but it wouldn’t be complete without the stellar piano work and drumming. …exceptional musicians being mighty creative.” – The Equal Ground
Rock & Roll collides with Celtic-Americana in an electrifying mash-up of worlds you haven’t heard anywhere else. At a show, you might witness a Springsteen song expertly blended with an original fiddle tune or a brand new original song crafted around a centuries-old traditional tune from the Scottish Highlands. It’s new, it’s different, and you don’t want to miss it.
Fiddlers, guitarists, singers, and songwriters, Colin Cotter and Ethan Lewis do it all – and they do it in high-energy, passionate performances where they hold nothing back and lay all their cards on the table, uplifting audiences with heartfelt compositions and arrangements. Cotter and Lewis form the core of the ever-evolving exploration of contemporary American songwriting and the living tradition of Celtic music called, “A Thousand Years at Sea,” and are joined on this musical adventure by groove-master Isaac James on djembe and drum kit.
The music ATYAS crafts stays true to the band’s roots in folk music, but is constantly growing in exciting new ways, integrating Celtic, rock, Americana, West African rhythms, and instrumental improvisation “into something sweet and subtle” (Sacramento News Review). Every so often, Neil Pearlman makes his way West from the East Coast, adding genre-defying, foot-stomping piano grooves.
Known for his inventive and intricate tune writing, Ethan’s lyrical and rhythmic fiddling brings an infectious energy to audiences. Colin has made a name for himself as a skilled multi-instrumentalist – he is a self-taught guitarist, mixing influences from around the world, and draws from a family tradition in Finnish fiddling. Neil’s unique piano style is based in Cape Breton traditional music, but draws heavily from many other genres, including jazz, funk, and Latin music. On djembe and drum kit, Isaac’s background in African drumming traditions meets funk, jazz, and rock to bring a wave of drive and energy to the mix. Each band member has shared the stage with many of the acoustic music world’s finest musicians, and have performed extensively at top-notch venues around the United States and internationally.
The band’s most recent release, the EP “Tree Pool” (2014), showcases the current ATYAS lineup (Cotter/Lewis/James) and features 4 all-new, original tracks that form part of the constantly-growing and impressively extensive ATYAS repertoire. The guys tour on this new material, much of it still unrecorded, in addition to music from their previous studio releases. “The Stillness Here” (2012), is an illustration of the way a band can morph with time – the songwriting stems from the same place, but the arrangements lean more toward folk-rock than ATYAS’ debut release, “Silver Shores Await” (2009), and continues the trend in this direction set by their 2011 EP, “We Will Fall Apart.”
“We got to hear ATYAS as an acoustic trio: guitar, fiddle, djembe. They absolutely enamored the audience from the very first song, tight instrumentals and rich vocals. Such fun and friendly guys! They had what seemed endless original material. Then, they covered Leonard Cohen… and Bruce Springsteen! Incredible! There was a standing ovation. There was an encore. Many CDs were purchased by my audience! All in all a heckuva show, and we hope to have them back!” – Carriage House Concerts