By Alex Simmons
Coming to the Springville Center for the Arts on Feb. 8, the Andrew Collins Trio will bring music to our ears at 7:30 p.m.
The band, based in Toronto, has toured around Canada and the United States, as well as “Germany, Czech Republic, Israel, Australia and more.”
You may already know Andrew Collins from his work with the Foggy Hogtown Boys, Creaking Tree String Quartet or even just as a member of the Trio.
Collins plays many instruments, including mandolin, fiddle, guitar, mandola and mandocello. In the band, Collins is joined by Mike Mezzatesta, who plays guitar, mandolin, fiddle, mandola, which he met 10 years ago.”
“He actually approached me at one of my shows for a lesson,” Collins explained. “Well we got together and it was obvious that he didn’t need lessons. Instead, we just jammed and became friends.”
Collins is also joined by James McEleney, who plays bass and mandocello.
Around that time, I was producing/recording an album for a band called the Unseen Strangers,” he explained. “This was my second production for them and they had a new bass player, James McEleney, whose vibe, bass chops and singing, blew me away.”
As a courtesy, Collins said he checked to make sure that the band leader, Adam Shier, wouldn’t mind if he asked McEleney to play with him.
“He responded, ‘Not if you don’t mind if I ask Mike to play with me.’ So we did a little band sharing and the rest is history,” Collins said.
The group became good friends over the years. Before the creation of the band, Collins was putting out “a few original instrumental albums, which were definitely in the bluegrass branches category.”
The Trio mix their multiple combinations of instruments with their smooth vocals to create something beautiful. A lot of fun is shared on stage, along with improvising with their multiple different instruments.
The band reinvents classic hits you may have heard of like Graham Nash’s “King Midas In Reverse” in their album “Tongue,” which is an 11 track celebration of these songs.
“It’s all my material, so while I’m technically the band leader, they are super wonderful players with great ideas that we love to bounce off each other,” Collins said.
The band members use their vocals and create a new sound to folk music. The band also has an album called “Groove,” which features the popular song by Pink Floyd “Goodbye Blue Sky” and others you may have heard of.
The band has won seven Canadian Folk Music Awards and earned five JUNO nominations for their double disc “Tongue & Groove.” The album is available on andrewcollinstrio.com/music plus the usual sites like iTunes, Collins said.
When asked what his favorite songs were from both albums, Collins said, “It’s really hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to, I’d say from Tongue, it would be ‘Cello Song’ and from Groove, ‘Famous Last Words.’ They’re both the first track on each album, so I guess you can say I like to start with a bang.”
The band has produced four albums in total now and are excited for the road ahead.
A performance by the Andrew Collins Trio will be held at Springville Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 at presale price. Tickets can be purchased at www.springvillearts.org.