Colin Cotter & Ryan McKasson
Colin Cotter picked up the fiddle at the age of 4 beginning a life-long journey building upon several generations of his family’s intimate relationship with traditional Finnish music. Over time, musical influences from Scotland to Quebec to New York City to West Africa crept in rendering him a genre-defying folky, unencumbered by traditional convention yet warmly familiar with it. A self-taught guitarist, he has created his own accompaniment style that, in tandem with hard-hitting, poignant songwriting, bridges gaps between American and Celtic folk music and rock.
Colin has toured internationally as a lead-singer, guitarist, and front man while also performing extensively as a guitar accompanist to traditional fiddlers of varying backgrounds. Since arriving on the scene, he has shared the stage with the likes of Alasdair Fraser, David Bromberg, Natalie Haas, Brittany Haas, Ashley Broder, Rushad Eggleston, and Zach Brock, and has released 4 studio recordings of largely original music. In addition to performing 100+ gigs each year, Colin is a regular faculty member at both Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School and the Mike Block String Camp.
Ryan McKasson has gained a reputation as a performer, composer, collaborator, and teacher. In 1996 he was the youngest to win the National Scottish Fiddle Championship. In 1997 he was awarded a Merit Scholarship for Viola Performance from the University of Southern California where he studied with Donald McInnes. In 2004 Ryan and his sister, Cali, formed a band, The McKassons, that eventually included Ryan’s wife, Brooke, and her brother, Matt Jerrell. The McKassons released two critically acclaimed albums, Tall Tales (2004) and Tripping Maggie(2006). Since 2002 he has also been fiddler for a renowned contra dance band, The Syncopaths. They have just released their second album, Five Gears.
Ryan has recorded with Hanneke Cassel on her albums Silver and For Reasons Unseen, and with Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas on their newly released album Highlander’s Farewell.