November 23, 2008
Fiddler Nikki Engstrom and guitarist and singer Sean Brennan have been playing throughout New England as the duo Stanley_&_Grimm
at concerts, house parties, pubs and festivals for the last three years. Having met and played together at local sessions on Cape Cod, Nikki and Sean made their debut appearance as Stanley & Grimm at the 2005 Cape Cod Celtic Festival where they opened for the internationally known Cape Breton group Beolach. In the following three years they have recorded two CDs of traditional material and original compositions and arrangements, opened shows for Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Liz Carool & John Doyle, and traveled throughout New England playing concerts, house parties, festivals and pubs to a growing base of fans.
Nikki Engstrom is an accomplished, award winning fiddler and teaches many workshops at festivals throughout the year while maintaining over 30 full time private students on the Cape. She has performed, competed, and taught throughout New England and Canada. In addition to her inspired and intense fiddle playing, Nikki has also composed many original tunes such as the popular "Little Hawk" and "The Huntress" and continues to come up with exciting and original arrangements of old and new tunes.
Sean Brennan has been playing in sessions and entertaining in pubs for many years in Boston and on Cape Cod. He has had the honor of playing shows with Jerry Holland, Eamon Coyne, and Patsy Whelan, as well as playing regularly with the well known Dublin balladeer Dave Hickey. On top of the many ballads and songs Sean has collected in his repertoire, he has also written many of his own songs that have become quite popular with Stanley & Grimm fans such as "Galway Senorita" and "Last Nights Fun".
Nikki and Sean named their due Stanley & Grimms, after the maker of Nikki's violin (F.O._Stanley
, inventer of the Stanley steam engine) and the maker of her bow (Grimm). Their music and performances are never the same and always feature an entertaining mix of old and new tunes from many different traditions, and classic and modern songs both fun and sad. The infectious fun they have on stage and their intense playing make for a great night of music and entertainment, and have helped them to become fan favorites on the New England traditional music scene.
Stanley & Grimm is a celebration of traditional music through old and new interpretations of jigs, reels, and songs played with lively fiddle, guitar and voice. Fiddler Nicole Engstrom and Singer/Guitarist Sean Brennan create a musical journey through a bounty of fiddle tunes and ballads of all origins as well as modern tunes and songs they have composed.
Nikki has delighted audinces for over two decades with her spirited and sensitive playing. Through a broad range of fiddle music from old and new sets of jigs and reels to slow airs, with Sean's warm vocals and rhythmic guitar, Stanley & Grimm capture the essence and energy of great traditional music.
Following up to their debut CD with "Another Round" - a new collection of tunes and songs that is already a huge hit with their fans. It features a mix of old and new material they have been featuring in concert at festivals and pubs throughout New England.
Celtic Radio Comments:
Guitarist & Singer Sean Brennan, and Fiddler Nikki Engstrom, have created something very special with their latest CD "Another Round." This New England duo plays a mix of old and new tunes that is a delight to the ears and addicting to the feet (especial those that dance). We at Celtic Radio carefully listened to each and every track on this CD and we have come to the conclusion that perfection has been made! Every musical measure is a beautiful display of just how much these folks love to play.
Some of our favorite tracks include Pachabel's Frolics - a fast, toe tapping journey into fiddle and guitar euphoria mixed every so often with a few slower classical measures - just exhilarating! Fiddler's Green is sung by Sean's strong and warm vocals showing that this group is not just about Jigs & Reels, but has the depth and talent to shine with many different types of Celtic music.
Mike Ryan's Lament, one of our favorites, is a post Civil War song about the legendary 7th_Calvary
and Custer's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Sean brings this song to life about the tragic tale of two brothers who left Ireland for the idea of America, only to meet their end at Vicksburg and Little Big Horn. A song only made possible by the emotional stirring of Nikki's fiddle and Sean's vocals - clearly both playing off each otherís talent making for a wonderful rendition of this ageless song.
So, as you may see - we loved Stanley & Grimm's "Another Round" and would highly recommend this CD to add to your Celtic music collection. The CD has a depth of songs and promises to entertain every type of listener with a mix of Celtic music. 5 Golden Celtic Radio stars for "Another Round." Just perfectly splendid!