Sandcatchers is a Middle Eastern-Americana mash-up that grew from a weekly residency at Cheryl’s Global Soul restaurant in Brooklyn. The quartet—featuring experimental guitarist and composer Yoshie Fruchter (John Zorn’s Tzadik Records); Michael Bates, an accomplished jazz bassist with a punk background; Myk Freedman, a pioneer of modern lap-steel music; and percussionist Tim Keiper (Vieux Farka Toure, Cyro Baptista)—explores the unique combination of the oud, an instrument that goes back centuries to pre-Islamic Persia and Turkey, and the lap steel, a more recent invention with roots in the American South. Together with guest cellist Erik Friedlander, the musicians bring their varying backgrounds, specialties and improvisational voices together to create a vibrant new sound.
“I like the idea that this band is always searching, never satisfied,” says Fruchter, who studies oud with virtuoso Ara Dinkjian. “Each member of the band is deeply inspired by history and tradition of their chosen instrument but even more driven to turn that inspiration into music that is new and fresh.”
Chant Records was founded by guitarist Jon Madof and bassist Shanir Blumenkranz, two longtime members of the downtown New York music scene. Sandcatchers’ What We Found Along the Way will be one of four albums launching with the label. Check out a trailer for the record here below.
Watch Sandcatchers perform live at Paste Studio!