Touring the United States from Dublin, Ireland, the popular quintet “I Draw Slow” makes their debut performance at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3 with energy that is “truly infectious.”
I Draw Slow coaxes the past into the present with original songs that draw from the best of Irish storytelling and American folk music with close-harmony vocals and intriguing instrumentation. Established as perennial festival favorites, they have danced their way across the stages of MerleFest, Pickathon, Wintergrass, RockyGrass, and Grey Fox, in addition to numerous appearances on radio shows, including the syndicated “Mountain Stage.”
The band is fronted by siblings Dave (guitar) and Louise (vocals) Holden who have been writing together for two decades. In 2008 the pair teamed up with violinist Adrian Hart, clawhammer banjo player Colin Derham, and double bassist Konrad Liddy to form I Draw Slow. Music critic Martin Anderson said of the group, “An absolutely beautiful blend of old-time, Appalachian arrangements behind well-crafted lyrics and melodies. Hard to believe they’re from Ireland, but if you listen carefully… you can pick up on Louise Holden’s subtle lilt.”
In announcing a new contract deal with Compass Records for their next album, Dave said, “An Irish band that plays American folk music doesn’t always make sense to everyone, but we feel right at home on their roster. Their relationships and reputation in the industry will help us tell our story and take us to the next level.”
The band has played to audiences in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and performed at many North American festivals; it was their performance at MerleFest that first put the band on the radar for Compass co-founders Garry West and Alison Brown, who were impressed with the band’s performance and the reaction from buyers in the MerleFest merch tent.
“First, we noticed how they got the crowd involved in what they were doing. Their energy is truly infectious,” says West. “Then we noticed that their CDs and merchandise were flying off the shelves in the festival store. That kind of immediate response is always going to get our attention. But more than anything we’ve been impressed with the strength of the songwriting, the sibling harmony, and the musical proficiency of the band. They are truly dedicated to their craft.”
Tickets are $25. For more information on this event and current COVID policies, or to join the theatre’s eblast list, get tickets, or purchase memberships, please visit the ATHC website at www.apptheatre.org.