The Unfortunate Rakes
In the late 70's, three college students met in the commuter
lounge at Shenandoah Conservatory. After getting to know each
other, they found that they shared a common interest in the music
from Celtic lands, and started getting together in their spare
time to play this wondrous collection of jigs, reels, hornpipes
and songs of false love. After their years at the Conservatory,
they embarked on separate musical paths: Chuck would find himself
as a member of one of the army bands toting a saxophone; Bruce
would play violin in a community orchestra; Michael would become
the guitarist in the acoustic quartet Oxymora.
Through those ensuing years, they still managed to find the
time to get together to play the Celtic music loved by all three.
By 1988, they found themselves making a regular circuit of concert
series, festivals, and the occasional pub. Thus began the odyssey
known as The Unfortunate Rakes.
Since then, these three friends have recorded three albums,
including therecently released "The Strayaway Child". They have
appeared as guest artists for other performers, offered workshops
in their approach to Celtic music, and through it all, have maintained
the closeness that only friendships of 20 years can breed. No
doubt, the friendship that they have built has become an integral
part of the music they create. All are married with children living
near each other in the West Virginia panhandle/Winchester area.
The trio performs traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, the
Shetland Islands, Brittany, and even Canada, tracing the far-reaching
influences of Celtic music. They have appeared at numerous festivals,
concerts and the occasional pub throughout the Mid-Atlantic region
and the Midwest. Recent venues include The Erie Irish Festival,
where they were the featured attraction; The Potomac Celtic Festival;
and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where
their collaboration with choreographer Erica Helm, "A Celtic Suite",
premiered with the Shenandoah Dance Ensemble. Their discography
includes their debut recording "Banish Misfortune", released in
1994, "There Is One Story And One Story Only", a sampler of Christmas
music, and most recently, "The Strayaway Child", with special
guest Paddy Roy contributing her haunting vocals. All are available
on the Falling Mountain label.