My musical collaborations with Nate Macy began at the Coffee Cottage in Newberg, Oregon in the Fall of 1996. At that time, I was just beginning an undergraduate degree in classical music, driving to Portland twice weekly for rehearsal with the Portland Youth Philharmonic and to McMinnville for private violin lessons. My plate was pretty much heaping full but I had always loved the relaxed creativity of the folk, gospel and blues that I had played with my family and at church as a child…. so when the opportunity arose to play some shows with Nate, I thought it would be great fun. Together with my brother Bryan, pianist, guitarist and songwriter and our friend Bill Nippolt, drummer and percussionist, we formed a band: the QLO was born.
Flash forward to 2009. Nate and I both have our separate musical endeavors but decided this Spring to be intentional about renewing some artistic collaboration… and here we have the result. A live demo—recorded on two microphones on a single track in a small studio space with a sleeping greyhound on the floor for most of the sessions. We have so much fun playing together and so the purpose of these recordings is to pursue live performance opportunities around the Northwest so that we have an excuse to write, arrange and collaborate some more!
Star of the County Down has always been a favorite melody of mine and many of my violin heroes have recorded it. It originates from Ireland and as with many fiddle tunes, it is about a beautiful girl. The singer of the song vows to make this “Star of the County Down” his bride no matter how long it takes and what the cost. In our instrumental version we wanted to capture the many faces of love: from longing and near despair to flirtation and the thrill of the chase. Does our poet win his prize in the end? I’ll leave it up to you to decide.