The Anarchist Orchestra

The Anarchist Orchestra

BandRockFolk

Biography

The Anarchist Orchestra formed in July 2006 to transform “old-time” mountain dance music into a psychedelic rock’n’roll experience. TAO as a live event is raw and joyful like the Appalachian and Cajun music they draw upon for inspiration. The songs have so much heart they’ll make you weep a tear while smiling from ear to ear. In their hands, a fiddle is a dangerous weapon they use to make you dance at gunpoint, a banjo is a feedback machine gun.

Their first album was recorded in mid-July during a whirlwind two-day session when Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (guitar, banjo, vocals) and Jake Silver (upright bass) of The Mammals got together with Laura Cortese (fiddle, vocals) and Robin MacMillan (drums) at their Brooklyn based Media Blitz studio. Originally, the plan was to rehearse and just “get the right vibe”. Luckily, the vibe was so right that the rehearsal soon became an all out recording session and two days later they emerged exhausted and elated with their first album in the can. The Anarchist Orchestra EP is a musical lightning bolt that shows how hardcore “old-time” music is when you turn it up to 11.

Tao has been playing music since he was a child. In 2001 he co-founded The Mammals with Ruth Ungar and Michael Merenda. Besides touring extensively with them, he’s traveled the world playing music with his grandfather Pete Seeger since 1989. He collaborated with Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion in the trio RIG and more recently with Roy, Tito & Tao; a Latin American super group based in Puerto Rico which features Roy Brown and Tito Auger. The concept for The Anarchist Orchestra has been brewing in his mind for as long as he’s drawn breath. He sings with such passion and conviction, songs that were imprinted on him at birth, that you can’t tell the material sometimes goes back more than a hundred years.

Laura has a busy solo career fronting her own band and TAO is damn lucky to have her. She studied with the extraordinary Scottish fiddler, Alasdair Frasier at Valley of the Moon fiddle camp. Laura graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2002. She was a founding member of Boston’s, Halali and co-founder of the Boston Celtic Music festival. Tao and Laura met at the 2002 Common Ground on the Hill festival and they’ve been looking for an excuse to work together ever since. Her explosive fiddle style brings the dirty guitar god element to TAO’s music. She’s also the last one to put the fiddle down at the party and pass out.

Jake is a Brooklyn dweller and plays an important role in the burgeoning Williamsburg music scene. Originally from Carmel, CA, he attended the University of Victoria and Berklee College of Music in Boston. When not working with The Anarchist Orchestra he can also be found touring with The Mammals, Rushad Eggleston and his Wild Band of Snee, Palo Colorado and Throwing Star. Jake is known to play “at the frequency of the human ass” and he knows how to make it shake.

Robin and Jake have been long time collaborators since middle school where they terrified Californian’s with a most outrageous punk Dixieland band. Robin plays alongside Jake in the Wild Band of Snee, Palo Colorado and Throwing Star. He can also be heard with the west coast pop band, Sugar and Gold. Robin is a veritable encyclopedia of rhythm; his drumming is the heartbeat of TAO. As Joe Strummer said, “You’re only as good as your drummer!” By this standard, The Anarchist Orchestra is in extremely good hands.

Discography

EP

Set List

Policeman
Hang me
Fascist state breakdown
The roving gambler
Pretty Polly
Let me fall
'tit galop pour Mamou
Will Bill Jones
Well may the world go
Greasy coat
Sail away ladies