(this session was recorded in Toronto, Ontario by BeeHive Productions during the 2013 Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2013)
Another wonderful Canadian band that we met at 2013 Folk Alliance conference in Toronto, the Fretless are from Vancouver Island. The quartet performed a few of their songs - captured on video by Beehive Productions - and talked to Matt Watroba about their music and inspirations. The group is fiddle-large, with each member playing stringed instruments (violin, viola and cello) and mixing genres to create a style that is unusual, engaging and innovative.
The Fretless is taking string music to fascinating places as it transforms fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements. In November 2011, Karrnnel Sawitsky (Fiddle), Ivonne Hernandez (Fiddle), Eric Wright (Cello) and Trent Freeman (Fiddle) got together for the first time on Vancouver Island. After 10 days straight of writing, arranging, practicing and an absurd amount of tea, The Fretless emerged as a band.
With the release of their debut album Waterbound in early 2012, the quartet grabbed the attention of critics and fans. The year was capped with 3 awards; Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, and at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Fretless walked away with both Ensemble of the year, and Instrumental Group of the Year.