The Creaking Tree String Quartet

Brief Biography

Andrew Collins on mandolin, Brad Keller on guitar, Brian Kobayakawa on bass and John Showman with his fiddle make up this dynamic and unique ensemble which pays tribute to the string band tradition.


String-band music has long been a staple of Americana. While the four members of Toronto's Creaking Tree String Quartet pay homage to that tradition, they refuse to be bound by it.

Instead, the technically dazzling outfit uses fingerboards to leap stylistic boundaries and fuse intricate styles. The result is a smartly intellectual and yet deeply moving sound that's a true Canadian original: jazz forms sliding over a rootsy bluegrass base, with flashes of chamber music, reverence and avant-garde experimentation.

It's the product of four adept and accomplished musicians, dedicated to performing unique and exciting material that raises the bar for instrumental acoustic music.

They earned a Juno Award nomination for their 2003 debut CD. Their 2005 follow-up "Side Two" won the Pushing The Boundaries trophy at the 2005 Canadian Folk Music Awards, was named Instrumental Album of the Year at the Indie Acoustic Project Awards, and "Old Crow" won Instrumental Song of the Year at the International Acoustic Music Awards.

The group's third album, "The Soundtrack," was produced by Grammy winner and Nashville veteran Bil VornDick, and is their finest work to date. Already this new release has received rave reviews, and won two Canadian Folk Music Awards, for Best Instrumentalists, and Pushing The Boundaries.