Bethany & Rufus
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Bethany & Rufus


Band Folk Jazz


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"“Wow! This “folk music” will knock your socks off…”"

Wed, May. 11, 2005
Wow! This "folk music'' will knock your socks off. Their self-titled debut album is a testament to the power of simplicity with Bethany Yarrow's haunting voice over the pulsing lines of Rufus Cappadocia's five-string cello. They redefine traditional songs such as "900 Miles,'' "Linin' Track'' and "St. James Infirmary.'' Somewhere in heaven, the Rev. Gary Davis is smiling down at their "Had My Way."
-- Mark Whittington

  - The Mercury News

""...There’s pulsing, dangerous life in this music!""

Nothing in the traditional folk world could have prepared its fans for the likes of Yarrow, yet she’s one of the best things that ever happened to the genre. Lost in these swirling remakes, I could hear the intent and purpose of the original songs being pulled into the present on a dark wave.... And the music will lure fans of any genre. She opens some tracks with Celtic crooning that dissolves into hip-hop – with a cello. Old spirituals rise from the ground. The vibe settles in deep. There’s pulsing, dangerous life in this music. -

""...a triumphant proclamation!...""

Bethany Yarrow is a musical medium. Serving as an intermediary between modern audiences and the ghosts of American folk and blues singers, Yarrow is sharing some powerful messages in her songs. Many critics have compared her voice to PJ Harvey and Dido. In truth, her pipes sound like a unique mixture of Odetta and Snakefarm. Her debut CD is a triumphant proclamation; every bluesy track demands attention and leaves the listener feeling slightly haunted - Siren Song Magazine


The overall effect is mesmerising, drawing you in to an eerie world where things glimpsed out of the corner of the eye move noiselessly in the shadows… - Americana UK

"Review of a show in Portland, OR"

What a talent Bethany is! Singing with Rufus Cappadocia on cello she kept the audience enthralled through 3 sets. Rufus plays cello like a madman when he gets intense. Makes it sing, scream, talk. Switches between bow and wah-wah pedal to plucking like acoustic bass. She played guitar on a few tracks, but with him on the only instrument it didn't seem sparse at all. She could do an entire set a cappella with that kind of voice and control! She took those old folk standards and made them hers completely. A reviewer referred to "the depths of her deep, dark gothic soul..." which she quoted and said "yep, he got it right."


Bethany: ROCK ISLAND © 2003 Little Monster Records

Rufus: The Paradox Trio, Ross Daly, Esma, and many others. Solo record due out in 2004.

Numerous tracks from both artists in regular independent and web radio rotation


Feeling a bit camera shy


Bethany and Rufus’ debut CD makes it clear why these indie artists are quickly attracting national attention. It is a stunningly simple and beautiful work, a magical blend of Bethany’s electrifying voice (a combination of the husky power of Nina Simone and the open-throated clarity of a tiny sparrow) and the mind-blowing, genre-bending cello playing of Rufus Cappadocia. With a deeply soulful sound Bethany and Rufus have transformed timeless songs such as 900 Miles, East Virginia, and St. James Infirmary -- pushing the boundaries of American folk far into the territory of groove, jazz and sweet soul.

This fresh approach to folk music brought rave reviews to Rock Island, the CD that Bethany released in 2003 under her own name. Rock Island featured the traditional slave lullabies and prison songs that lie at the core of the American musical vernacular, yet re-imagined, Ms. Yarrow says, as "a kind of electronic pop that I called deep folk music." Blending an edgy contemporary style with banjos, dulcimers, harmonicas, slide guitars, gospel choirs, and the sampled voices of great blues singers, Ms. Yarrow charted a unique musical terrain that she and Rufus continue to explore in ways far outside of any conventional musical box.

As the daughter of folk legend Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Bethany absorbed much of this music through osmosis in her early childhood. Her tour-de-force stage presence, mesmerizing voice and deep knowledge of the material allow her to turn these songs inside out, finding a vibrant inner pulse that resonates with a grace and power that is rare in today’s music scene.

Rufus Cappadocia is one of the leading voices on the cello today. He has toured throughout the Americas and Europe with numerous groups and is known for his collaborations with artists from all over the world... from the Balkans to the Caribbean, from West Africa to North America. He has toured extensively with Urban Tap and The Paradox Trio; has just finished a recording with Badal Roy (who played tabla with Miles Davis) and Barney Mcall (who plays piano with Gary Bartz); a Canadian release with Hugh Marsh (violin) and Bary Romberg (drums); and is currently recording a new project, Vodou Drums of Haiti with “Bonga” Jean-Baptiste as well as a CD of unaccompanied solo cello. After years of experimentation, Rufus plays a self designed Five String Electric Cello that extends the bass range of the cello and through amplification expands the tonal possibilities of the instrument.

Rufus has made a career of going where few cellists have gone before. He has appeared on CDs with Ross Daly, Kif, David Fiuczynski, The Paradox Trio, Odetta, Michael Blake, and Tamalalou. Rufus has also performed with Kasse Mady, Aretha Franklin, The Black Rock Coalition, Esma, Theodossi Spassoff, Seamus Egan, Eileen Eivers, Cheick-Tidiane Seck, Vernon Reid, and many more.