8 February 2019
Emerald Rae opens
Cold Chocolate brings their eclectic stylings to the me&thee as part of the legendary coffeehouse’s winter season. This New England based band incorporates folk, funk, and bluegrass and rolls it all together to make a true Americana sound. ¶ Emerald Rae, a talented fiddler and songwriter extraordinaire, opens the show.
Concert starts at 8:00 pm
Featuring Ethan Robbins on guitar, Ariel Bernstein on percussion, and backed by some of the finest players in the roots scene. Cold Chocolate has been impressing audiences throughout New England and beyond. Punctuated by tight harmonies and skillful musicianship, and with a focus on songwriting, Cold Chocolate has quickly gained recognition for their original music and high-energy shows. The band has shared bills with Leftover Salmon and David Grisman, and regularly performs at venues and music festivals up and down the East Coast. According to The Boston Review, “they sound softer than the dew on the mountainside, harder than a Harley pushing back red dust, sweeter than true love.”
Guitarist-songwriter Ethan Robbins began his bluegrass career at Oberlin College. He began experimenting with how to stretch the meaning of bluegrass. He had been playing classical violin since he was four years old, switched to guitar by fourteen, and was highly inspired by Bob Dylan, John Hartford, Hank Williams and the Grateful Dead. Before long, he was coming up with his own original music. In 2012, he met percussionist Ariel Bernstein in Boston. His light and tasteful groove became the backbeat for Cold Chocolate. In addition to combining forces with Ethan as part of the band, Ariel is also a much-heralded sound engineer who has worked on recordings for Darlingside, Josh Ritter, and The Ballroom Thieves.
. . .
Fiddler and folksinger Emerald Rae brings the duo of strings and song to a new plateau with mesmerizing dexterity. Hailing from the historic fishing community of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Emerald Rae is both a small-town girl steeped in cherished folk traditions and a world-class artist breaking new ground with inventive fiddle effects. Roots Music Report says, “A spell-caster of no small skill, Ms. Rae matches her bowing prowess with appealing use of her fiddle for strumming and plucking vocal punctuation.” Her opening set is sure to whet the audience’s appetite for some wildly diverse music.
Photo by Anna Colliton
- Cold Chocolate plays a style of bluegrass that is so ridiculously good, that I really love Cold Chocolate. Singer and guitarist, Ethan Robbins has a depth and soul to his voice that blends certain aspects of soul and blues music into their traditionally instrumented sound, creating a unique quality that makes their music far more than a couple pickers playing Bill Monroe tunes. This is something special. High energy, excellent harmonies, and, of course, killer picking from the group makes Cold Chocolate an experience that you won’t want to miss out on. Brian Carroll Red Line Roots
- They sound softer than the dew on the mountainside, harder than a Harley pushing back red dust, sweeter than true love. Simon Waxman, The Boston Review
- . . .
- Emerald Rae takes her folk roots into fresh sounding regions, maxing out her axe’s potential in the service of her consistently compelling melodies. A spell-caster of no small skill, Ms. Rae matches her bowing prowess with appealing use of her fiddle for strumming and plucking vocal punctuation. Minimal production touches provide the ideal finish on one of the year’s more fetching releases. Duane Verh, Roots Music Report
- The self-titled album is quite stunning — sharp, solid soundscapes, rich with intensity; a striking balance of fragility and substance. Joshua Farber, Unity House Concerts
- Reliably one of the sweetest and friendliest people in the biz, as well as being a great player . . . and on top of the business end too. Russell Gusetti, Blackstone River Theatre (Venue & Festival)