The Sound Cafe
Canadian & US National Fiddle Champion Shane Cook & The Woodchippers Release Debut Album
London, Ontario based Shane Cook & The Woodchippers have released their debut album Be Here for a While, which brings together years of collaboration with fellow musicians Emily Flack (Leahy) on piano, vocals and dance, Joe Phillips (The Art of Time Ensemble) on double bass and guitar, and Kyle Waymouth (five-time national step dance champion) on guitar and dance. This album has taken several years from concept to completion and you can tell from the superbly crafted compositions and arrangements which are a modern, exhilarating approach to fiddle tunes, song and dance. Be Here for a While has already garnered two Canadian Folk Music Award 2022 nominations for “Instrumental Group of the Year” and “Traditional Album of the Year”.
Shane Cook, Canadian and US National fiddle champion, has had a successful career captivating audiences with his danceable playing that is as adventurous as it is technically thrilling. His expressive and flawless performances place him in high demand among a variety of ensembles and collaborations that have seen him tour extensively in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Germany, China and Taiwan.
Shane says, “Joining me as The Woodchippers are three of my favourite people and musicians on the planet. Each player had a voice when it came to arranging the record and I think that collaborative approach brought everyone to fully invest in the music.”
Each Woodchipper comes to this music honestly, having grown up playing music in families of traditional musicians and dancers. Shane Cook & The Woodchippers rely on their deep foundation in the traditional music, song and dance of Ontario for the core of their sound, yet many of their own compositions, songs and dances blend folk, Celtic, jazz and bluegrass while others have roots tracing back to the lumber camps of Ontario as well as to Ireland, Scotland, Quebec and the American South.
Shane Cook & The Woodchippers were thrilled to return to perform with The International Symphony Orchestra along with guest Canadian youth fiddle groups from 12 provinces and territories to unveil part of Be Here for a While in an online release concert which is available to stream until October 31, 2021. “I am particularly proud of our virtual collaboration with young fiddlers from across Canada for this online concert. Across Canada there is a unique phenomenon of youth fiddle groups, many of which I’ve been fortunate to have worked with in workshop settings over the years. Getting people together and jamming is what the fiddle is all about, and the word I’ve been hearing is that kids across the country are itching to get together and play. So, given my history with these kids and also all of my great experiences with the ISO, it made sense to bring everyone together to collaborate for a track in this concert. Amazingly, there are 15 groups from 12 of the 13 Canadian provinces and territories joining us.”
Shane Cook & The Woodchippers rely on their deep foundation in the traditional music, song and dance of Ontario for the core of their sound, yet also draw on styles as broad as folk, celtic, roots, country, contemporary and jazz. Their superbly crafted compositions and arrangements are a modern, exhilarating approach to fiddle tunes, song and dance.