Official music page and soapbox of Matt Snell

Sunday 29 May 2011

Blues and Old-Time Artists I Admire: Sheesham & Lotus

Well, I can die happy, because I finally got to see Canada's preeminent old-time band. Sheesham and Lotus bill themselves as "Old Time Rag Time Mountain High Steppin Music," which is pretty accurate. Peterburgers are probably familiar with them already as hosts of the Peterborough Folk Fest. They blend hard-driving dance tunes with good old-fashioned entertainer's hokum for the kind of traditional music experience that lives and breathes, and never feels like a museum piece. That despite their patented monophonic sepiatone acoustic amplifier, and arcane instruments like the contra-bass harmoniphoneum.

It's all too common even for very talented musicians to work on their sound while neglecting the presentation and performance aspects of their show. Sheesham and Lotus are the kind of whole-package deal that had me grinning ear to ear the entire time. And as loose and jokey as the between song banter feels, they clearly know their onions and can pin the tune they are playing right down to its county of origin.

I talked to them too, and they were nice. So that's pretty much a perfect ten. They play house parties, so anybody with a few friends looking to put a hootenanny together could not do better. I've attached a link to their site below, as well as a video. Although the video doesn't entirely do them justice, it certainly whet my appetite:

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