I don’t know if performers have ever taken requests during the Beartrap Summer Festival, but if it’s possible, I’ve got one for The Ransom Notes. I’m listening to/watching their video for their instrumental song “Catharsis” and it’s kind of amazing. 2 fiddles and a cello(!), with lots of fast finger and bow work, and a little syncopation thrown in for good measure. It’s a short song, so I’m on my 3rd or 4th time through…. (*Update – I’ve actually lost count of how many times I’ve listened to this tune…)

Their bio states that “Describing The Ransom Notes’ sound in a single word is an impossible task.” Agreed. With elements of classical, bluegrass, folk, Americana and Celtic music, and instruments like fiddle, cello, mandolin, guitar, banjo, and Dobro, these folks top off their distinctive sound with some really soulful vocals.

They’ve played across the country at venues that include the Kennedy Center, they’ve performed on several PBS shows, and they’ve appeared on bills with artists such as Paul Simon, Yo-Yo-Ma and Steve Earle, just to name a few. They’ve migrated from Colorado to Nashville, and – luckily for us – they continue to tour throughout the nation.

Freddy Smith of WDVX Radio declares “This band intersects bluegrass, folk & Celtic music like no one I’ve ever heard. You have to seem them perform to fully appreciate their talents. Their ability to capture the soul of old-time music at a young age is amazing.”

Even more impressive (and accurate, in my opinion) is this nugget of praise from Kenny Pabst of High Plains Tradition… “Mark O’Connor and Yo-Yo Ma would be proud!”

Watching the “Catharsis” video again (and again and again…!) I’m struck by just how intense and joyful these folks are as they’re playing…and how intense and joyful I feel listening to this performance. The only thing that could make me happier than listening to this song over and over will be to hear them play it live on the mountain. I mean, I’m enjoying their other tunes as well, but “Catharsis” is still my favorite. In case I’m being too subtle, Ransom Notes, consider this my request.