Hot Rock Pilgrims

Friday

Hot​ ​Rock​ ​Pilgrims​​ ​seem​ ​like​ ​they​ ​were​ ​cooked​ ​up​ ​in​ ​a​ ​lab​ ​for​ ​the​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​music​ ​snob​ ​who needs​ ​even​ ​their​ ​party​ ​band​ ​to​ ​have​ ​impeccable​ ​credentials.​ ​When​ ​a​ ​band’s​ ​bio​ ​declares that​ ​they​ ​defy​ ​genre,​ ​it’s​ ​often​ ​because​ ​they​ ​haven’t​ ​taken​ ​the​ ​time​ ​to​ ​master​ ​any​ ​of​ ​them. Our​ ​intrepid​ ​squirrel​ ​hunters,​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​hand,​ ​count​ ​among​ ​their​ ​number​ ​bluegrass purists,​ ​the​ ​best​ ​Old​ ​Time​ ​fiddler​ ​outside​ ​the​ ​USA,​ ​and​ ​in​ ​Hubert​ ​Murray,​ ​an​ ​Irish​ ​bluesman who’s​ ​also​ ​a​ ​fine​ ​flatpicking​ ​guitarist.

If​ ​they​ ​felt​ ​like​ ​it,​ ​they​ ​could​ ​turn​ ​their​ ​collective​ ​hand​ ​to​ ​country,​ ​rockabilly​ ​or​ ​early​ ​rock’n’roll. As​ ​it​ ​is,​ ​what​ ​they​ ​do​ ​is​ ​steeped​ ​in​ ​American​ ​roots​ ​music​ ​tradition,​ ​deeply​ ​groovy​ ​and​ ​a​ ​great deal​ ​of​ ​fun.​ ​Fiddle,​ ​banjo,​ ​guitar,​ ​bass​ ​and​ ​dobro,​ ​wickedly​ ​fast​ ​and​ ​high.​ ​If​ ​you’re​ ​casting around​ ​for​ ​post-Brexit​ ​symbolism,​ ​they’re​ ​also​ ​a​ ​fine​ ​example​ ​of​ ​European​ ​co-operation,​ ​or perhaps​ ​the​ ​start​ ​of​ ​a​ ​joke;​ ​a​ ​German,​ ​an​ ​Irishman​ ​and​ ​three​ ​Brits​ ​walk​ ​into​ ​a​ ​bar.​ ​Before they​ ​leave,​ ​they’ll​ ​have​ ​everyone​ ​on​ ​their​ ​feet.

Hubert​ ​Murray​​ ​(vocals,​ ​guitar)​ ​is​ ​an​ ​extraordinary​ ​singer​ ​and​ ​guitarist​ ​from​ ​Galway,​ ​Ireland. Having​ ​cut​ ​his​ ​teeth​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Irish​ ​pub​ ​circuit,​ ​he​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​London​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​a​ ​solo​ ​career, discovered​ ​bluegrass​ ​music​ ​in​ ​2011,​ ​and​ ​ever​ ​since​ ​has​ ​worked​ ​tirelessly​ ​on​ ​his musicianship,​ ​taking​ ​lessons​ ​from​ ​the​ ​likes​ ​of​ ​Grant​ ​Gordy,​ ​Courtney​ ​Hartmann​ ​and​ ​David Grier.​ ​In​ ​a​ ​short​ ​period​ ​of​ ​time​ ​he​ ​has​ ​become​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​bluegrass​ ​singers​ ​and​ ​guitar flatpickers​ ​in​ ​the​ ​country,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​high,​ ​clear​ ​tenor​ ​to​ ​match.

Dan​ ​Edwards​​ ​(vocals,​ ​banjo,​ ​guitar)​ ​fell​ ​in​ ​love​ ​with​ ​the​ ​banjo​ ​when​ ​studying​ ​at​ ​the University​ ​of​ ​Oklahoma.​ ​Since​ ​moving​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​he​ ​has​ ​established​ ​himself​ ​on​ ​the London​ ​and​ ​Brighton​ ​music​ ​scene​ ​as​ ​a​ ​renowned​ ​musician​ ​who​ ​also​ ​gigs​ ​nationally​ ​and internationally​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Ben​ ​Somers​ ​Bluegrass​ ​Band​ ​and​ ​Ben​ ​Paley’s​ ​Long​ ​Hill​ ​Ramblers.

Sam​ ​Rose​​ ​(double​ ​bass)​ ​was​ ​raised​ ​in​ ​the​ ​unlikely​ ​bluegrass​ ​hub​ ​of​ ​Helsby​ ​in​ ​Cheshire. Graduating​ ​with​ ​first-class​ ​honours​ ​in​ ​Guitar​ ​Performance​ ​(BMus)​ ​from​ ​The​ ​Institute​ ​of Contemporary​ ​Music​ ​Performance​ ​in​ ​London,​ ​Rose​ ​quickly​ ​found​ ​himself​ ​in​ ​high​ ​demand​ ​as one​ ​of​ ​London’s​ ​best​ ​session​ ​guitarists​ ​and​ ​double​ ​bassists.

Bruno​ ​Pichler​​ ​(dobro)​ ​has​ ​studied​ ​the​ ​resophonic​ ​guitar​ ​for​ ​many​ ​years,​ ​taking​ ​lessons from​ ​musical​ ​heroes​ ​including​ ​Sally​ ​Van​ ​Meter,​ ​Rob​ ​Ickes,​ ​Michael​ ​Witcher​ ​and​ ​Ivan Rosenberg.​ ​Drawn​ ​towards​ ​music​ ​from​ ​an​ ​early​ ​age,​ ​he​ ​played​ ​drums​ ​in​ ​a​ ​heavy​ ​metal band​ ​at​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​10,​ ​electric​ ​bass​ ​in​ ​a​ ​blues​ ​band​ ​at​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​20​ ​and​ ​nylon-string​ ​guitar in​ ​the​ ​closet​ ​at​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​30​ ​before​ ​finally​ ​finding​ ​his​ ​calling.​ ​He​ ​has​ ​recently​ ​placed​ ​2nd​ ​in the​ ​prestigious​ ​Rockygrass​ ​Dobro​ ​Contest​ ​in​ ​Colorado.​ ​When​ ​he’s​ ​not​ ​performing,​ ​he spends​ ​most​ ​of​ ​his​ ​time​ ​on​ ​his​ ​day​ ​job​ ​designing​ ​high-end​ ​laser​ ​scanning​ ​microscopes​ ​for neuroscience​ ​research.

Originally​ ​hailing​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Lake​ ​District,​ ​​Kieran​ ​Towers​​ ​(fiddle)​ ​is​ ​deeply​ ​rooted​ ​in Appalachian​ ​mountain​ ​music​ ​and​ ​is​ ​equally​ ​well​ ​versed​ ​in​ ​both​ ​old-time​ ​and​ ​bluegrass​ ​fiddle styles.​ ​He​ ​has​ ​been​ ​active​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​scene​ ​for​ ​many​ ​years,​ ​playing​ ​with​ ​acclaimed​ ​bands such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Loose​ ​Moose​ ​Stringband​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Ben​ ​Somers​ ​Bluegrass​ ​Band.​ ​Kieran​ ​has performed​ ​on​ ​stage​ ​with​ ​world-renowned​ ​fiddle​ ​luminaries​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Rayna​ ​Gellert​ ​and​ ​Bruce Molsky.

With​ ​fans​ ​far​ ​beyond​ ​their​ ​London​ ​home,​ ​Hot​ ​Rock​ ​Pilgrims​ ​pack​ ​dance​ ​floors​ ​wherever​ ​they go,​ ​and​ ​following​ ​a​ ​rip-roaring​ ​festival​ ​season​ ​are​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​unleash​ ​their​ ​debut​ ​album​ ​on​ ​the world.​ ​A​ ​charming​ ​set​ ​of​ ​reimagined​ ​traditional​ ​songs​ ​&​ ​melodies,​ ​the​ ​energy​ ​is​ ​infectious, the​ ​vibe​ ​raucous​ ​yet​ ​intricate.​ ​It’s​ ​also​ ​the​ ​only​ ​album​ ​you’re​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​hear​ ​this​ ​year​ ​featuring a​ ​giant,​ ​radioactive​ ​squirrel​ ​with​ ​laser​ ​eyes.