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Oakland, California-based Celtic rock band AVALON RISING is known for its unique sound -- a blend of original rock, Celtic, and Medieval music. Their rich acoustic/electric sound features brilliant male and female vocals over intricate instrumental arrangements, supported by a vibrant rhythmic background. Their line-up includes electric and acoustic guitars, electric violin, Celtic harp, flute, bass, mandocello, drums, and vocals.
With a repertoire that includes both original and traditional songs and ranges in feel from driving Celtic tunes to haunting harp-based ballads, Avalon Rising will enchant and excite you. Their music has been compared to Tempest, Loreena McKennitt, and Dead Can Dance with touches of Jethro Tull and the Grateful Dead.
Avalon Rising has been performing in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest for over fifteen years at clubs, festivals, pubs, benefits, and conventions. Festival performances include the Euro-American Festival in Jinan, China, the Livermore Scottish Games, the Modesto Scottish Games, the Sonoma County Fair, the Harmony Festival, the High Sierra Music Festival, and many more.
They headlined at the Oscar Party for THE LORD OF THE RINGS: The Return of the King. Their music has been used in a Boston Globe commercial, and can be heard in several movies, including Cost of a Soul, Valley of Fear, and Far From the Sea.
What do you get when you cram five master musicians of divergent styles together in one band?
In the case of Avalon Rising, the answer is: magic.
To say they're the world's foremost practitioners of Celtic/Medieval progressive rock could be meaningless, given the scanty membership of the genre -- until you factor in just how damn good they are. Hearing them perform, one is hard-put to say just what kind of music they're playing -- just that it rocks, it screams, it soars, it whispers. Elements of classical, Celtic folk, French Medieval, psychedelic jam band and funk interweave, conflict, and finally coalesce into a stunning, surprising whole. One hears echoes of Loreena McKennitt, Dead Can Dance, the Grateful Dead, Fairport Convention, and the Pentangle.
They're a motley assemblage. There's the beautiful Flower Princess on harp (not the harmonica, the big wooden thing with all the strings) who also plays flute and recorder and sings in a sweet, classically trained soprano. Then there's the blonde goddess in black velvet, sensuously bowing a purple, cat-headed 5-string electric violin. Does life get any better than this? But wait -- in front of a stack of tie-dyed amplifiers, in a bowler hat and John Cippolina t-shirt, pulling a stream of howling, lyrical, psychedelic riffs from a sparkly purple Stratocaster, is a genial bearded hobbit-man who sings in a honeyed tenor. Behind them all sullenly lurk the bassist and drummer, two candidates for Queer Eye who seem to think they're backing up James Brown or The Clash.
Avalon Rising's new album, their second, is called Storming Heaven. Clocking in at a CD-maxing 74 minutes, it includes just about everything you're likely to hear in their current live show, with no less than 6 full-out Celtic rock tune-sets wherein a never-ending assortment of jigs, reels, and other traditional dance tunes are stuck together end to end and raced through like a Hummer on a Grand Prix course, knocking bricks off buildings and smashing statuary along the way. Songs include the lilting Irish Do You Love An Apple, the mystically psychedelic originals Jack Daw and Turning In Time, Papa John Phillips' lost masterpiece Dancing Bear and a handful of traditional British Isles songs.
"...Bands like Avalon Rising are few and far between...Storming Heaven is a jewel, plain and simple..."
"...Meet your new arbiters of cool: Avalon Rising, the Bay Area's finest Celtic-prog band..." "Avalon Rising plays bright, bouncy Celtic pop -- with a dark undercurrent of technically precise trickiness, as though the Jethro Tull dudes had been sneaking into rehearsals...The chops and the songwriting on the band's latest, Storming Heaven, are stellar indeed..."
"...the musicians in Avalon Rising are outstanding..."
"Avalon Rising Storming Heaven: "Like many things that bubble up in an Irish cultural stew, Celtic music is simultaneously blessed and cursed. The music's passion, angst, and ethereal beauty can be truly astounding, but - like the blues - it can become cliched and almost laughable when embraced by dunderheads and dilettantes. Happily (at least for my ears), Avalon Rising drifts above the curse by being both real and adventurous. The band wisely lets violinist Cat Taylor and flutist/harpist Margaret Davis deliver the major Celtic vibe, and they are absolutely stellar musicians. The duo's soaring, almost achingly sensual phrasing gives age-old and original melodies near-cinematic impact. (Don't be surprised or embarrassed if you shed a tear when listening to their plaintive harmonic dances - it just means you're a living, breathing, feeling person.) The wilder bits are injected by guitarist Kristoph Klover, who employs a bratty Strat tone and an affinity for blues and psychedelia to modernize the standard Celtic formula without tanking the traditional melodic and rhythmic devices that make this music so endearing. Avalon Rising isn't the most trad or the most progressive Celtic-based band I've heard, but it's certainly the group I'd pick to lift up my spirits or drown me deeper into my Guinness."
"A refreshing new-age approach to an old-world style -- You'll be left breathless and fascinated. The basis of this sound is in traditional English, Scottish and (mostly) Irish folk music, and there are continental renaissance-era influences filled with those uplifting, bouncy compositions that will have you tapping your feet the first time you play it, and whistling along with the melodies every subsequent time. To appreciate this one your tastes will have to extend beyond just prog and rock. This music applies a progressive spin to retrogressive music and will be appreciated by hobbits and open minded music fans everywhere."
"They are loud, they work hard and they are GOOD!"
"Avalon Rising inject traditional balladry with a churning rhythm section and a few sprightly touches of good old prog rock to create a sound that's a mixture of Tubular Bells, Dead Can Dance and that song Pippin sings in the film version of Return of the King. ... Storming Heaven is hot off the presses and full of Celtic-jammy vim and vigor." -- Sara Bir, North Bay Bohemian ________________________________________________________________________
for PDF, click here.
Margaret Davis -- vocals, harp, flute, recorders
Kristoph Klover -- vocals, electric guitar, 6 and 12-string acoustic guitars, octave mandolin
Cat Taylor -- electric violin, vocals, bodhran
Mark Ungar -- vocals, electric bass, mandocello, doumbek
Scott Irwin -- drums
Saturday, October 4th: PEERS Girl Genius Oktoberfest Ball, Alameda
Saturday - Sunday, May 3rd - 4th: Ravenswood upon the Gleann, Weaverville
Saturday - Sunday, March 15th - 16th: Dublin St. Patrick's Day Festival, Dublin
Sunday, February 16th: Pantheacon Convention, San Jose
Saturday, February 1st: PEERS Middle Earth Ball, Alameda
October 5 - 6 : Reno Celtic Celebration , Reno
Saturday, June 1st: Modesto Scottish Games, Modesto
March 8 - 10: Sonora Celtic Faire, Sonora
Saturday, February 2nd: PEERS Lord of the Rings Ball, San Mateo
Saturday, December 22nd: Bec's Bistro, Berkeley
Friday, November 30th: Bec's Bistro, Berkeley
Saturday, October 27th: Bec's Bistro, Berkeley
Saturday, October 6th: The Bistro, Hayward
Saturday, September 15th: Fresno Highland Games, Fresno
Saturday, September 1st: PEERS Robin Hood Ball, San Mateo
Saturday, July 28th: Bec's Bistro, Berkeley
Friday, July 20th: Bec's Bistro, Berkeley
Saturday, June 30th: Bec's Bistro, Berkeley
Saturday, June 16th: Sacramento Celtic Faerie Festival, Fair Oaks
Saturday, June 2nd: Modesto Scottish Games, Modesto
Saturday, May 5th: PEERS Midsummer Night's Ball, San Mateo
Saturday, March 17th: Dublin St. Patrick's Day Festival, Dublin
Saturday, March 17th: Celtic Soul St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza, Alameda
Saturday, February 18th: Pantheacon Convention, San Jose
Saturday, June 4th: Modesto Scottish Games, Modesto
Saturday, May 7th: PEERS Ball of the Gods , San Mateo
Sunday, April 17th: Vacaville Medieval Festival, Vacaville
Saturday, March 19th: St. Pat's Show, High Street Station, Alameda
Friday - Sunday March 11th - 13th: All Hallows Fantasy Faire, Sonora
Saturday, November 6th: St. Andrew's Guild Winter Feast, Livermore
Saturday & Sunday October 23rd - 24th: All Hallows Fantasy Faire, Sonora
Friday, August 20th: High Street Station, Alameda
Thursday, July 15th: City of Pinole Summer Sounds Series, Pinole
Saturday, May 1st: PEERS Courts of Faerie Ball, San Mateo
Sunday, April 18th: Vacaville Medieval Festival, Vacaville
Saturday, March 13th: Schelly’s Pub, San Leandro
Saturday, February 13th: Pantheacon Convention, San Jose
Saturday, November 7th: St. Andrew's Guild Winter Feast, Livermore
Saturday & Sunday October 24th - 25th: All Hallows Fantasy Faire, Sonora
Saturday, June 6th: Modesto Scottish Games, Modesto
Saturday & Sunday May 16th - 17th: Livermore Scottish Games, Livermore
Saturday, May 9th: The Starry Plough, Berkeley
Saturday, April 18th: Vacaville Medieval Festival, Vacaville
Saturday, March 14th: Schelly’s Pub, San Leandro
Saturday, February 21st: BayCelt Festival, Oakland
Friday, October 24th: McGrath’s Pub, Alameda
Saturday, July 19th: The Bistro, Hayward - 15th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, April 27th: Costumecon
Saturday, April 19th: Vacaville Medieval Festival, Vacaville
Saturday, March 22nd: San Francisco Celtic Festival, Oakland
Saturday, March 15th: Schelly’s Pub, San Leandro
Saturday, February 16th: Pantheacon Convention, San Jose
Friday, January 25th: Ashkenaz Music & Dance Club, Berkeley
Saturday, November 10th: St. Andrew's Guild Winter Feast, Tracy
Saturday, October 6th: Stanislaus Pagan Pride Festival, Modesto
Thursday, August 23rd: Concerts in the Park, St. Helena
Friday, July 20th: The Bistro, Hayward
Saturday, June 16th: The Black Rose Pub, Santa Rosa
Sunday, June 10th: Health & Harmony Festival, Santa Rosa
Saturday, May 5th: Sleeping Beauty Ball, San Mateo
Thursday, May 3rd: Ashkenaz, Berkeley
Sunday, April 22nd: Medieval Festival, Vacaville
Saturday, April 21st: The Bistro, Hayward
Saturday, March 17th: St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, San Francisco
Friday, November 10th: The Black Rose Pub, Santa Rosa
Saturday, October 20th: The Starry Plough, Berkeley
Saturday, September 16th: Three Rivers Harvest Festival, Fair Oaks
Friday, August 11th: The Black Rose Pub, Santa Rosa
Friday, July 7th: Cloverdale Friday Night Concert Series, Cloverdale
Sunday, June 11th: Sacramento Celtic Midsummer Faerie Festival, Fair Oaks
Saturday, May 27th: BayCon Science Fiction Convention, Doubletree Inn, San Jose
APRIL 27 - MAY 8 - SHANDONG EURO-AMERICAN FESTIVAL, JINAN, CHINA
Saturday, April 22nd: Vacaville Middle Earth Festival, Vacaville
Saturday, April 15th: Placer County Strawberry Festival, Roseville
Friday, March 17th: Mr. Pickwick's Pub, 2644 Clayton Avenue, Concord
Saturday, February 18th:Pantheacon Convention, Doubletree Inn, San Jose
Wednesday, February 8th: The King's Head, 201 Orchard City Drive, Campbell.
Wednesday, January 27th: The Starry Plough, with Tempest, 3101 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.
Other festival performances include the High Sierra Music Festival, the Mammoth Lakes Celtic Festival, the Heart of the Forest Faire, and the Avery Ranch Folk Festival.
BOOKING: Kristoph Klover, stoph at flowinglass dot com, phone (510) 219-9836