Teada & The Ebony Hillbillies
High Roads & Railroads:
A Musical Journey Through the Intersection of Two Cultures
The music of Ireland meets the music of an African-American string band. During the early American experience, both musical traditions borrowed heavily from one another. When slaves were called to bring their stringed instruments to play for the plantation frolics they brought their fiddles and banjos and played the jigs, and reels – dance music - often from an Irish tradition. As the oldest known traditional Irish instrument, the fiddle took its place as the primary instrument at these gatherings. The banjo, having its origin in West Africa, was brought to the plantation adding its rhythmic sound to the fiddler’s lines. So fitting were these two instruments, the banjo was then taken to Ireland to become a “traditional” Irish instrument. These common roots and experiences will be explored musically as these two great traditions come together for an evening of music and dance from Africa, America and Ireland.
Upon hearing of the collaboration between Teada & the Ebony Hillbillies, it was hard to ignore the possibilities that these two bands could bring to the stage. Having seen Teada many times I was aware of their musical chops and also the joy that they bring to their shows. Oisin is a known leader in his generation of traditional musicians. Being a huge fan of cross cultural music and art we saw this as an opportunity to educate our audience on some of the early roots music in America and how Irish music related to it. It is one fantastic show. Barry Stapleton, Milwaukee Irish Fest
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