Birlinn Jiarg were first brought together by multi instrumentalist Beccy Hurst to perform the traditional Manx music she grew up with as well as her own compositions. Having performed with various Manx bands and dance teams over the years, Beccy moved to England to study on the Folk Degree at Newcastle University.
At the centre of Birlinn Jiarg’s sound is the combination of Beccy’s whistle and concertina playing and the clarinet and flute of Freya Rae (Freya Rae and Louis Bingham, Tom Kitching Band). The unusual combination of low whistle and clarinet was what originally inspired the band’s formation and set Birlinn Jiarg’s sound apart from more traditional line-ups.
Having performed in a duo with Beccy for a few years Scottish guitarist and bouzouki Alisdair Paul (Pons Aelius, Kimber/Paul) was a natural choice for Birlinn Jiarg. Completing the quartet’s line up is bodhránist Callum Younger (Pons Aelius, Trio FCT). Callum and Paul have worked together on a variety of projects and their inventive and powerful accompaniment provides a great platform for Beccy and Freya’s melodic interplay.
Assembly Lane brings together four young Newcastle-based musicians immersed the shared musical traditions of Britain and America. They have already developed a reputation for performing dynamic arrangements of traditional, contemporary and self-penned material, effortlessly blending ballads, bluegrass, country and blues with rich vocal harmonies and instrumental flair.