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"Reviews online"

For reviews of April, Doug & Tony please visit:

Strung (band) reviews will be added here as available. - Various


Strung will record its debut CD in October 2008. The tracks included in the music section of this EPK are demo tracks for your consideration.




Strung is a new musical possibility.

It brings together three names to conjure with in deep roots music these days - Doug Cox, Tony McManus and April Verch – and while the words “power trio” have not often been heard together in contemporary acoustic music, the times they still are a ‘changin’.

When ‘the best Celtic guitarist in the world’ * sits down to play with the only woman to win both the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle and Open Fiddle Championships and the da Vinci of the dobro pulls up a chair, “power trio” just might fit the bill…

Their personal roots run from Scotland to the Ottawa Valley out to the Canadian West. Connecting those three dots runs about 8,500 K**, and the journey spans generations and musical traditions from Europe, India and all over the US and the UK.

Collectively, their personal musical histories include making music with Long John Baldry, Martyn Bennett, Salil & Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Kevin Burke, Phil Cunningham, Liz Doherty, Amos Garrett, Andy Irvine, Seikou Keita, Dougie McLean, Natalie MacMaster, Catriona MacDonald, Bruce Molsky, Mark O’Connor, Dirk Powell, Kate Rusby*** on stage and in the studio.

Strung’s skill sets include playing, performing, recording, composing, producing, backing, teaching, parenting and road warrior. This alone might conjure the term “power trio” but this trio’s power does not come from proverbial stacks of amps at 11.

This trio’s power comes from listening… the kind of listening that comes with the territory when you are playing with some of the world’s finest musicians. In some musical circles, instrumentalists with this level of focus and technique, are known as “the musicians other musicians listen to”. Some European traditions use the term “virtuoso.

This is a new project, but it’s no “baby band”. These artists share more than 50 years of experience and choose their projects carefully. Strung is a trio you want to keep an ear out for, and one you want to be in the room with when they get deeper into the music…

* according to John Renbourne

** a little more than 5,000 miles, assuming you’re working with an unusually focussed and suitably motivated crow.

*** the list of names is much, much longer but traditional Canadian modesty requires that you visit the artists’ respective websites for this information.


Doug Cox is a Folk da Vinci. “Jack of all trades” sounds more folky, but the truth is he’s mastered a number of them. As an artist, he’s earned an enviable reputation on five of the bigger continents, playing on some of the most respected stages in roots music. His most recent project, with Salil Bhatt, is being favourably compared to Ry Cooder’s recording with Salil’s father Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

The “da Vinci” element refers to the way his own music is an organic part of a much larger life. It starts with home and his family and also includes
touring, composing, teaching, programming a major festival, co-producing a growing catalogue of musical “how to” DVDs and being one of the most respected voices in the Canadian roots scene.
His MySpace page spells out (for nearly 3,000 friends) the time he dedicates to performing and also to teaching at music camps from Kerrville to the Cotswolds and back to BC and Alaska every year.

It’s the schedule of someone who chooses their projects very carefully…

It’s been a little more than 50 years since guitars first started hanging around the edges of Celtic music, looking for a way into the music pipers and fiddlers had evolved over centuries. Only a handful of guitarists have found that zone to date. Dick Gaughan is one. Tony is another.

His personal sense of traditional music begins in Scotland but also includes Ireland, Brittany, Galicia, Quebec, Asturies, Cape Breton and Eastern Europe. From timeless traditional pieces to the Mingus classic “Pork Pie Hat”, his musical world is big and getting bigger all the time.

There’s never been more people on the planet playing the guitar, but for a’ that, few on any instrument in any generation ever find a way of listening and a way of playing that strikes a punter as a distinct musical voice.

Tony McManus has, and in doing so has given us all a new way to hear the heart of the music many thought they knew. Strung is the next step…

For a “new world” country, Canada has a lot of different fiddle traditions, Some are centuries old and some are being born right now. April Verch’s musical roots are in a tradition that not even too many hard-core folk music listeners can tell you much about. Like Cape Breton or Quebec, the settlers in the Ottawa Valley were Scottish and French but unlike them, the settlers were just as likely to be Irish, German or Polish.

After two hundred years of playing together, a very special and unique repertoire, style of playing and even stepdance hav