Here is the latest mesmerising single from Old Spot, a brand new duo that was formed to bring traditional Appalachian music to contemporary audiences. Just like watching the circling and soaring birds, ‘Fly That Red Kite’ is entrancing and hypnotic; it’s music to lose yourself in. The song pulses with intensity as the fiddle’s notes swirl. The accompanying video reinforces the moody atmosphere, with birds in flight and darkening skies, heavy with cloud, as the backdrop for an engaging performance from Old Spot.
Old Spot is a brand new duo, formed by Joe Danks (banjo) and Rowan Piggott (fiddle; double bass) after they became friends in 2021. They met around a camp fire, where they bonded over their shared love of traditional Appalachian music. Soon after they were introduced, they began jamming and sharing lifts to sessions and it wasn’t long before this turned into a new collaboration and recording venture. Danks is a multi-instrumentalist whose 2021 debut album ‘Seaspeak’ was released to critical acclaim throughout the UK. His rhythmic banjo drives Old Spot’s songs forward. Piggott’s grooving, melodic fiddle will be familiar to fans of The Wilderness Yet, the folk trio for which he is best known. The Irish fiddler’s solo release ‘Mountscribe’ was also well-received, alongside his ‘Songhive’ folk-song project, designed to raise awareness of the declining bee population. Together, the pair bring genres together and give life to traditional sounds.
Joe Danks says of this beautiful new song: “‘Fly That Red Kite’ is an original tune by Rowan, which started life at Fire In The Mountain Festival. The festival is held in the foothills of the Cambrian mountains and each day as we retired back to our tents for dinner Red Kites would start to gather in the trees around the site and circle on the thermals above our heads. A figure would emerge from the farm adjacent to the festival site and start throwing food out for the birds who swooped and dive bombed to collect it from the grass. This amazing spectacle happens every day, and the festival doesn’t seem to get in the way of it! The footage you see of the birds in the video was taken that weekend, and the tune developed as Rowan played his fiddle underneath a sky full of these amazing birds.”
Old Spot combine the sounds of fiddle, banjo, gourd banjo and guitar to create absorbing new music steeped in the sounds of the past. Inspired equally by performers from musical history, like Bill Monroe, and other artists of today, such as Jake Blount, the duo make the old sound new and fresh. Well-known performers in their own right, the pair will release their debut album as a duo on 7th April 2023. The self-titled release promises to deliver more foot-stomping tunes, steeped in the traditions of folk, bluegrass and old time music. Piggott and Danks have included some old favourites made new alongside original compositions, making for a varied, captivating album. While you’re waiting, check this out.