Coole & Downes

Coole & Downes

BandFolkCountry

"Coole & Downes is a newly-formed musical partnership between banjo-pickin' Chris Coole, a true veteran of the international bluegrass & old-time circuits, and Simone Schmidt, one of the brightest new flames in Canadian country songwriting." - Dawson City Music Festival

Biography

Coole & Downes is bluegrass and old time veteran Chris Coole (The Foggy Hogtown Boys) and alt-Country singer-songwriter Simone Schmidt (One Hundred Dollars).

Chris Coole was first attracted to the sounds of old-time and bluegrass music as a teenager growing up in Toronto, Ontario. At seventeen years old, he got his first banjo, and soon discovered the clawhammer style. His unique style of clawhammer banjo playing began to reach a wider audience with the release of his first C.D.- "Five Strings Attached With No Backing" in 1997 and later, "Five Strings Attached, Vol. 2" in 2000, both collaborations with Arnie Naiman. From 2000 to 2007, he collaborated with old-time fiddler Erynn Marshall, and earned a nomination for best traditional album at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Wards for their record " Meet me at the Music." Since 2001, Chris has played guitar, sang, written songs and recorded 6 albums with the critically acclaimed bluegrass band The Foggy Hogtown Boys. You can also hear him play on over 75 recordings as an accompanist for renowned artists such as Jim Cuddy, Oh Susanah and Silvia Tyson. In 2009, Chris released his first solo album entitled "Old Dog" - a mixture of original and traditional folk songs and tunes. He followed that with a duo recording featuring dobroist Ivan Rosenberg in 2010. Coole is also known for his skill as a teacher, having taught workshops across Canada and the U.S.

Simone Schmidt grew up in Toronto and at age 15 got her first fake I.D. in order to watch Chris Coole's band, the Foggy Hogtown Boys play High and Lonesome Wednesdays at the Silver Dollar. The influence stuck. Eight years later she released her first full length record "Forest of Tears" with country band One Hundred Dollars, and garnered accolades for her descriptive skill as a country song writer, innovative take on the tradition and a voice weary beyond her years. One Hundred Dollars' second LP "Songs of Man" was long-listed for the Polaris Prize in 2011. A chance meeting with Coole at a folk conference in 2009 led to weekly kitchen jam sessions which helped to develop their unique vocal blend. Schmidt assumes her great grandmother's maiden name, Downes, as a moniker in the project. "When I listen to traditional American folk music I get to wondering about the missing voices, in particular about the missing voices of women. So I took on my great grandmother's maiden name, and decided to try to write from the perspective of women of the time that so many of those traditional songs I love were originally sung. I try to write songs that blend seamlessly with the traditionals in our set."

In the summer of 2011 the two traveled to perform at the Dawson City Music Festival and Old Crow, Yukon. They released the first in a trilogy of EP's called "Coole & Downes : One." Subsequent volumes in the trilogy will be released throughout 2012.

Lyrics

Not On My Watch

Written By: S. Schmidt

Not On My Watch

In Middleton County stone walls they stand tall
At night from the outside you can hear the men call-in
Through shouts to the darkness their voices escape
Their bodies my charges to keep, not to take

Takes a heart as hard as those old stone walls
To keep out the pity for those men who've fall -en
My fellow jail guards talk tough, break and maim
And torment those lives that are now bound by chains

Not on my watch not on my watch
It's a broken man who sins in vain ain't nothing left to break
Not on my watch not on my watch
They've paid the greatest price of all, I'll leave what's left to take

There's the fool Dale Windham , a mere twenty one
Bank robber by trade, till his wits beat him in run-ning
Hank harold he served in the war of 42
Rode back on the wave of the blood that he knew

The meanest all's named alan mcbride
Who killed his own father, in cold patricide oh!
The guards and hoodlums they all can agree
To torment and smite him, but not around me

Not on my watch not on my watch
It's a broken man who sins in vain ain't nothing left to break
Not on my watch not on my watch
He's paid the greatest price of all, I'll leave what's left to take

The truth of the matter mcbride and I know
I fled the truth as I did hell and home -and
My father's rough hands and their blows I did dodge
So they met my brother, but not on my watch

And though I did run, though i changed my name
The blood mcbride shed, well we share just the same- so
As long as he's caged here, these stone walls I'll walk
No hands touch my brother, no not on my watch.

Not on my watch not on my watch
It's a broken man who sins in vain ain't nothing left to break
Not on my watch not on my watch
He's paid the greatest price of all, I’ll leave what’s left to take

Discography

"Coole & Downes : 1," EP, Released July 2011, Independent.

Forthcoming "Coole & Downes : 2," January 2012.

Set List

Varies