Making their Scottish debut at Shetland Folk Festival, Stringrays are a super-group of New England contra dance musicians who are an especially exciting feature of our 40th line-up. The band stars fiddle legend Rodney Miller, who was a firm Shetland Folk Festival favourite in the 1980s, appearing in many different guises including Airplang.
Rodney Miller is arguably one of the most influential American fiddlers to have ever set foot in Shetland, and one can even go as far as saying he has helped to shape the sound of Shetland folk music. He is widely considered to be the foremost exponent of New England style fiddling, and his tunes feature heavily in many local sessions throughout Shetland.
Stringrays are a contra dance band who have a shared interest in exploring great fiddle tunes, and their playing is fuelled by a love of the living tradition of New England fiddle music and its cousins. Audiences can expect dynamic, lyrical improvisation and fresh, dance-inspired interplay. Each moment of outstanding performance is fresh, surprising and beautifully nuanced. Alongside Rodney, the band members are Sam Bartlett (mandolin), Max Newman (guitar), Stuart Kenney (double bass and banjo), and Mark Hellenberg (percussion).
They have released two albums to date, Stringrays in 2014 and Ticket to Nowhere in 2018.