Over eight years on the local scene, Ami Dang’s music has been one of transcendence—transcending boundaries in its fusion of North Indian classical music and Baltimore DIY, and transcending its listeners to higher states and the further reaches of their minds. This new instrumental record, rooted solely in sitar and electronics, takes her trance-like compositions a step further, drawing inspiration from Eastern folktales, specifically in translation—stories, much like her music, that straddle two worlds. Permeating, undulating, rising and falling like smoke and dust, these ambient soundscapes set the score for a boundless epic that has yet to be told, evoking both unseen landscapes and characters from another lifetime that it almost feels as if we already know. An Oberlin Conservatory grad and 2019 Baker Artist Award finalist, Dang is a folklorist for the 21st century, looking to the past to make music for the future, and an artist to follow in Baltimore.
For the past 15 years, Patrick McAvinue has been a rising star in the bluegrass world, first finding his string instrument at age 6 before joining some of the region's best bands, from Smooth Kentucky to Charm City Junction, ultimately ending up Fiddle Player of the Year according to the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2017. But this third offering is not your typical bluegrass record. Instead, the Baltimore County native, who now resides in Nashville, where he’s a regular at the Grand Ole Opry, uses his bow to cut through traditional ballads and jigs before weaving in other styles: Celtic tunes, Django jazz, classical music, modern rock, and Latin flair. In turn, he takes his old-school genre and turns it on its head, evolving it outwards and showcasing his versatility, virtuosity, and just how far the fiddle can go.