Twin fiddles lead this family collective, setting fire to the tunes of the Old World from Iceland to Kazakhstan.
Fronted by twin brothers and fiddlers, this family collective from Winnipeg, Canada performs traditional music from the old world. A spectacle to be sure, the Bart House Band combines traditional and mysterious sounds of old country Europe with a form of musical alchemy. The music is forged in a furnace where diverse melodic sparks are fanned until they catch fire and begin to bind. From outright mayhem to complete precision, this is world music done the Old Way.
Travel east from Gdansk through Poland’s northern farmland and you’ll eventually arrive in Bartoszyce County. In ancient times this was the tribal homeland of the Bartians, a fierce clan of pagan woodsmen who were famed for their deftness with extremely large bearded axes and prowess in driving off invaders.
Fast forward 900 years, cross the Atlantic and push west over the great Canadian Shield to the very center of North America: Winnipeg, the home of the musical Bart Family of the fabled Bartian lineage. Growing up, the five brothers learned to play instruments in a tight knit extended family that has always made music together – you could safely say it’s in their blood. They grew up immersed in the sounds of Slavic kolomiykas, Celtic ballads, and Romani dance tunes, and it’s from these Old World traditions that they continue to draw their inspiration.
The twins, David and Andrew, began classical violin studies at the age of five and are known today within Manitoba’s Celtic and bluegrass scenes as former long-time members of Dust Rhinos and The Magnificent Sevens. The Bart House guitarist, chief and eldest brother Lindsey, is a Brandon University music alumnus whose otherworldly guitar skills have taken him on the road with the likes of the Duhks and Sierra Noble. The youngest Bart and contra bassist, Quintin, followed his elder brother in the pursuit of higher education through the University of Manitoba jazz studies program, but he would be ultimately enchanted by Romani culture. Leaving North America behind, he would spend nearly two years in Hungary with a Budapest-based NGO working to end the persecution of the Roma people. He has since returned to become a hurdy gurdy guru who has toured with the Crooked Brothers, Rayhannah, and Budapest-based family band Romano Glaszo.
The Bart lads are joined by three brothers from different mothers (and fathers). Mr. Kyle Borley is a champion flutist, banjo player, and flute maker who has lived in Galway and performed across Ireland for the past several years. D’Arcy Stearns is a renowned Winnipeg multi-instrumentalist and chef extraordinaire who is as comfortable creating exotic hors d’oeuvres from scratch as he is summoning exotic sounds on bouzouki, bodhran, banjo, or fiddle. Corey Ticknor, age old friend of the family and virtuoso mandolinist, delved deep into the tune-based lifestyle with Lindsey as a member of Mangy Coyote some two decades ago, and has since toured extensively with the Dust Poets.
Drawing on vast influences and experience, the seven men of Bart House Band create an international act at home on both the festival stage and the roadside campsite.