Imagine Irish music with the back beat of an African hand-drum and drum set, a guitarist raised on Metallica and the Indigo Girls, a dreadlocked mandolin and banjo player, a bassist with enough bottom to make the hydraulics on your car give out, a classically trained Violinist with a cascade of curly, flowing, blond hair and an outlandishly quaffed Gaelic-speaking tin whistler raised on sean-nos, new wave, and punk rock. Throw all those ingredients together with a generous amount of frenetic energy and you''ll have your first taste of Ockham''s Razor. And it only gets better, like really good whiskey.
This group of 20-somethings with widely varied backgrounds in music formed Ockham’s Razor in the spring of 2006 and played their first public show at Seattle’s hugely popular annual Fremont Summer Solstice Festival. As a result, the band was commissioned to write and record a song for an independent film. They worked with Grammy-nominated producer Conrad Uno (Presidents of the United States of America, Mudhoney, Posies) on their debut CD, featuring traditional Celtic music and originals performed with a modern ambience, and began creating waves in the Irish-music circuit throughout Washington, Oregon, and California.
During live performances, Ockham’s Razor broke the fourth wall by taking their show off-stage and interacting with the audience. It wasn’t long before audience members came up with their own classification for the band’s genre-blending style and high-energy performances: “Turbo Celtic” and “Ethno Punk” being among some of the more favored descriptions. Highlighted performances include participating in the 2006 Northwest Folklife Festival, headlining the 2007 Schweitzer Mountain Fall World Music Festival, as well as numerous St. Patrick’s Day and Highland Games performances. They won over the Yakima Folklife Festival and have opened for internationally acclaimed Celtic bands The Paperboys and Enter the Haggis.
The release of their second album, Ten Thousand Miles to Bedlam, unveiled an evolved sound, influenced by Irish folk music as well as Balkan gypsy tunes and punk rock. The album takes listeners on an aural journey through various forms of madness including the eeriest rendition of “Mad Tom of Bedlam” yet recorded; a chaotic breakdown represented by “Lanigan''s Ball;” and the engulfing events that transpire inside a man''s prison cell on the last evening of his life in “The Night Before Larry Was Stretched.” With all things being equal, this is a not-so-simple “Celtic” album from a not-so-simple “Celtic” band.
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