The Fretless featuring Madeleine Roger

The Fretless featuring Madeleine Roger

Four ferocious players, masterful composition, and a genre-bending sound — Juno award-winning Canadian quartet The Fretless return for their second Festival appearance, but this time with an incredible vocalist - Madeleine Roger.

Having blown our audiences away at the 2018 Shetland Folk Festival, we are delighted to welcome back this “Supergroup” of celebrated solo artists, whose quartet has firmly taken its place on the map to a progressive form of “trad”.

The Fretless transform fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements.  Within what appears to be a simple and classical construct — two fiddles, a viola, and a cello — The Fretless create a sound that is distinctly rich, multi-layered, and uniquely percussive. This tonal quality is pushing traditional music to new heights, producing a completely fresh approach to folk music.  Their live shows are infectious, dynamic, and impressively relentless.

In 2021, The Fretless released their most ambitious recording to date — “Open House” - a 10-track guest singer collaboration, featuring an astounding list of powerhouse vocalists that absolutely solidified The Fretless as an ever-evolving, truly transcendent group.

Building on this singer collaboration theme, the Fretless have recently been working and touring with the incredible singer-songwriter Madeleine Roger from Winnipeg, Canada.  Her artistry as a songwriter can silence a room, uniting her lyrical prowess with breath-taking melodies that linger long after they are sung.  Her critically acclaimed debut album Cottonwood landed multiple award nominations and her sophomore album, Nerve, will be released in 2024.

The Fretless members are Trent Freeman (fiddle/viola), Karrnnel Sawitsky (fiddle/viola), Ben Plotnick (fiddle/viola) and Eric Wright (cello).