Friday, April 28, 2017
Gawler Sisters Coffeehouse, May 4
The Gawler Sisters are a fun-loving, folk-singing, fiddle-playing trio based in their native Maine. They will be coming to the Camden Public Library Coffeehouse on Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 pm. Tickets $10 at the door. Doors open at 6:30.
On banjo, fiddle and cello, Molly, Edith, and Elsie bring beautiful songs, tunes, and stories from their roots in the heart of Maine.
Their music feels cut directly from their homeland’s fields and forests, and though it is rooted in traditional “downeast” music, years of curiosity and travel into the world beyond have influenced their sense of musicianship. Their extensive collection of rollicking tunes in the Down-East, Franco-American and Scandinavian traditions is complemented by angelic three-part-harmony, gutsy worksongs, folk-blues, and amusing odes to everyday life. This music is part of their heritage as the three sisters were taught to play and sing by their Mom (Ellen Gawler, fiddler, and singer) and Dad (John Gawler, banjo player and songster.)
The Gawler’s unique arrangements are especially engaging and often go along with anecdotes of historical or humorous content, delivered in the stoic but friendly style of true New Englanders.
They are often joined by the rest of the family, their parents John and Ellen Gawler, and Edith’s husband Bennett Konesni to bring the full-fledged, rip-roaring, sky soaring tunes and songs to their performances.
With their infectious spirit and sparkling musicianship, the Gawlers have earned a beloved place in the delighted hearts of varied audiences across the Northeast. The folk music itself brings a sense of community and grassroots connection that is welcoming and from the heart.
Molly Gawler plays the fiddle and is particularly fond of breathing life into old traditional songs and tunes. She is a dancer who has toured the world with Pilobolus Dance Theater as the lead role in their show “Shadowland.” She studied ballet at Bossov Ballet Theater in Pittsfield Maine, contemporary dance at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College in New York and circus at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro Vermont.
Her roots belong to Maine, and she returned home to start growing the next phase her life with the birth of her own company, Droplet Dance – integrating live music and her solo dance work into performances dedicated to Water awareness. Currently, she is living with her husband, Lao Gillam, and dog, Acadia on their homestead in Monroe. She loves to tend to her small vegetable garden and sing to the kale and her chickens. Her artistry is interwoven as her passion is to dance with live music and inversely to incorporate dance into the music shows, delighting in the ways openness connects people heart to heart.
Edith Gawler fills in the Gawler ensemble with her rich low harmonies and her musicianship on banjo and fiddle.
She is an Architect, musician, and farmer. She works as an architectural designer at GO Logic, a design + build firm that creates carefully designed, highly energy-efficient buildings. She developed her architectural thesis at Syracuse University, which looked to draw on the principles of the local sustainable food movement as a model for a new architecture.
In 2008, she and Bennett Konesni met, and they’ve been playing music together ever since. As a duo, she and Bennett teach worksong workshops all over the Northeast, which seek to put the culture back into agriculture, and — as legions before them have done — find the joy to make hard labor feel more meaningful.
Elsie Gawler incorporates the cello into folk music with a range of chops, backup rhythms and innovative chord structures. Fiddle music is deeply embedded in her musical sensibilities, and she delivers lively jigs and reels with the cello as easily and solidly as she backs the band on the low end.
She’s also been known to pick up the banjo and fiddle from time to time to play an old favorite or spin out original song or tune. In addition to music making, Elsie lives an agrarian lifestyle in Belfast, Maine working as a cheesemaker at a local farm and feeding her artistic nature with visual and traditional arts.