Part of our Sounds of Nature programme
Guitar & fiddle duets written for and inspired by the Ghost Owl (aka the barn owl).
The guitar and violin are made for one another. It has a long history in folk, bluegrass, Cajun, gypsy and jazz. On Ghost Owl, Williams and Catlow bring their singular voices to this tradition with soaring melodies, heart-tugging counter-melodies and agile rhythms. They seamlessly connect Trans-Atlantic overtones of American Roots and British Folk with technical brilliance. These two are masters of their respective instruments. At its heart, Ghost Owl is a love song to the barn owl and the world in which it lives. Which, as it happens, is the world in which we live, too.
It all started when wildlife conservationist and filmmaker/photographer Simon Hurwitz asked his friend and relative, guitarist/composer/singer Brooks Williams to record a couple of guitar tunes to accompany some of his short films. Two things happened very quickly. Firstly, the more Williams learned about the Barn Owl, the more he wrote. A couple of tunes turned into an album’s worth. Secondly, he knew he wanted Aaron Catlow to play violin on the album. Aaron agreed and the result is Ghost Owl.
Aaron Catlow is a master violinist and half of the Bristol-based duo Hawes And Catlow, guitarist-singer Kit Hawes. He is also the fiddler in UK festival favourite Sheelanagig. He has also worked with Grammy Award-nominated Yola, Mad Dog Mcrea and Afro Celt Sound System. He has been called ‘fleet fingered’ and his “dexterity, energy and passion” are what make his live performance so memorable!
Cambridge UK-based, Georgia US-born, Brooks Williams is known for both solos shows and collaborations (Boo Hewerdine, Rab Noakes and Sloan Wainwright, among others). He is named one of WUMB-FM Boston’s “Top 100 All-Time Artists” and is listed in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists and has been referred to as “one of those select few ‘how on earth does he do it?!’ artists.“