The Rakish Angles

The Rakish Angles

 Gibsons, British Columbia, CAN

The Rakish Angles are a 4 piece stringband (violin, mandolin, guitar, bass) playing mostly original gypsy-jazz-newgrass music.


British Columbia's Sunshine Coast is a tranquil neck-of-the-woods beside the Pacific Ocean that resonates with a woody timbre. This unique place conjured up a definitive sonic quartet called The Rakish Angles. Newgrass, Latin, gypsy-jazz, old-time music. None of these styles were born there, yet they have given inspiration to the vision of these fiercely local musicians, who hail from various locations around Canada. There's gentle paradox that slides along side the band and maybe that's why their music and performances strike a chord - they simultaneously say sweet and mysterious, novel and worn, perfectionistic and fatalistic. The quiet clash is honest and musical and natural.

Since forming in 2007, The Rakish Angles - composed of Serena Eades (Violin), Simon Hocking (Mandolin), Boyd Norman (Bass), and Dan Richter (Guitar) - have been making their own noise, literal or otherwise. They have shared the stage with Tony Trischka, Doug Cox, Po'Girl, Celso Machado, The Red Clay Ramblers, Frazey Ford, Jesse Zubot, and Tanya Tagaq. In the process, they've managed to garner nominations for a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2009 as well as a Western Canadian Music Award in 2010.

As word of the band spreads, the emotional connection is the characteristic that comes through the loudest. They themselves will tell you their raison d'├Ętre isn't necessarily about unfolding the corners of musical innovation until the wheels come off, although they dabble in that regard. They are capable of finding new latitude, but it isn't that, their technical proficiency or their well-chosen lyrics - it's much more basic and raw than that. They bypass the intellectual filters and spark something in the emotional centre of the brain, and they're doing what they're supposed to do.

Listen to their second album, Cottonwood Moon (released 2011), created during that winter in a musty A-frame cabin over looking Georgia Strait and belonging to the album's engineer Montreal musician Courtney Wing. Listen to the title track. A simple, clean progression. Perfect and unpolished notes. Timeless, broken words such as "...time drains like wine." It does, doesn't it?

A word about the name. 'Rakish' is an adjective meaning, 'having or displaying a dashing, jaunty or slightly disreputable quality or appearance.' How this embodies the band, it can't quite be told exactly. Sure, you'll probably find them jaunty and jovial, but they ain't so disreputable. They're family people. They swim with no clothes on. They sing into one collective microphone. They themselves are warm, wooden-timbred, natural, mysterious folk - much like the place where they live.

Maybe time will tell just what exactly the word can mean and what it is meant to sound like. Until then, it's about playing music.


The Rakish Angles - (2009) self-titled debut featuring guest artists Steve Dawson and Celso Machado. Most tracks been getting radio airplay nationally.
The Rakish Angles - Cottonwood Moon (2011) with guests: Doug Cox (dobro), Curtis Andrews (percussion), Angus Lyon (Accordion), Jayme Stone (banjo)

Set List

Typical set list is made up at least 60% original material. Most pieces are between 3-6 minutes. 50% of the material makes people want to get up and dance, 25% of the music makes people listen particularly carefully to the intricacies of the music, and 25% of the music makes people feel nostalgic or pensive.
At the moment 75% instrumental 25% vocal.
Covers include: King of the Gypsies (David Grisman), Boulevard of Broken Dreams (H. Warren), Walking Stick (Irving Berlin), Music Tree (Tim O'Brien), Caravan (D. Ellington), etc.