Fusing catchy originals with modern versions of traditional Celtic and Canadian east-coast folk, fiddle tunes, and new takes on rock and country favourites, Skraeling's sound is spirited and new. The band features the soaring fiddle work of John Showman, whose virtuoso technique and soulful playing takes fiddle beyond the boundaries of contemporary rock or traditional styles. Mike Rossiter, schooled and steeped in the musical traditions of his native Newfoundland, provides powerful lead vocals and solid, relentless rhythm guitar. Animal Pearson is a force of nature on the drums, anchoring the combo with uncompromised attack on traditional Celtic rhythms.
The trio has logged hundreds of gigs together with tight, dynamic performances - ranging from tender ballads to wild, volcanic reels. Recorded live off the floor in three days, Skraeling's self-titled debut CD is a vivid snapshot of all their energy and musicianship - and a concrete reminder of what true, hard-working roots rock is all about.
Mike Rossiter - guitar and vocal
Mike grew up surrounded by music in St. John's and Marystown Newfoundland. He moved to Montreal for university and quickly dove into the rich music scene there. Four years later he arrived in Toronto and busked his way into regular gigs across the city and into Kingston, Hamilton and even Key West, Florida. He's played solo as well as founding Malone Stick, riverrun and Skraeling. He's also taught music to daycare children and now teaches every other subject to grade threes. He rarely sleeps, devours newspapers and knows more Irish and Scottish folk songs than barstool bards three times his age.
John Showman - fiddle and vocals
John spent his childhood studying classical violin in Ottawa before discovering bluegrass while busking on a Montreal sidewalk. He's studied business south of the border and, at one point, laid the violin down for nearly seven years. When it came out of the case again, it came with all the fire and fury for which fiddles are famous. Besides Skraeling, he's a founding member of the Foggy Hogtown Boys and the Creaking Tree String Quartet, has toured folk festivals across the continent and was nominated for a Juno in 2004. He also plays a mean rock fiddle.
Animal Pearson - drums and vocals
Animal was born in Montreal and moved to a kibbutz in Israel with is family in 1978. At eight he learned to play recorder, and went through piano and violin lessons before picking up his first drumsticks at 13. Moving to Toronto for highschool, he began gigging with covers by The Cult and The Clash. He's since played every style from metal to jazz and gigs regularly with Toronto acts like Laura Fernandez and Rich Lowenberg. Before meeting Mike and John, he'd hardly heard any Celtic music, let alone played it. But he lugged a kit to a gig one night in 2002 and is now a fixture at some of the liveliest pubs around.
Check out the artist's website:
1. My Old Town
2. She Sailed Across the Harbor
3. Reels: Pigeon on the Gate/Lafferty's
5. As I Roved Out
7. She Was Lonesome
8. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
9. Rocky Road to Dublin
10. Mingulay Boat Song
11. Full Strife
12. Fiddle Fly
13. Follow Me Up to Carlow
15. Like a Hurricane