The Websters & Scott Nygaard
with Brittany Haas and Cindy Browne
played for RBA on December 16, 1996
What do you get when
you combine a soul/country singer (Chris
Webster), a Baroque opera singer (Cassie Webster), a bluegrass
an old-time fiddler (Brittany),
and a jazz bassist (Cindy)? It’s hard to define, but
easy to enjoy. The music is based on bluegrass and old time
songs and tunes, but expect some unusual twists and turns
— and a memorable evening!
. . . a genre-defying repertoire requiring bluegrass' rhythmic
tenacity, jazz's improvisational wit, chamber music's dynamic
control, and the emotional commitment of the blues.
- San Francisco Chronicle
Brittany and Scott open the evening with a set of fiddle-guitar
duets that will knock your socks off.
On their debut album,
“Ten Thousand Miles,” the wondrous Webster sisters,
Chris and Cassie, two of the San Francisco Bay Area’s
best singers in any style, join forces with eclectic flatpicking
guitar virtuoso Scott Nygaard to reinvent traditional songs
from the Appalachian mountains and choice gems from the great
American songbook (in addition to some originals from Chris
and Scott. The whole thing is held together by the remarkably
versatile Cindy Browne on bass, with spice provided by the
young fiddling phenom Brittany Haas, both of whom are featured
on the group’s CD. Since Cassie moved to Montreal, and
Brittany is now a sophomore at Princeton, The Websters &
Scott Nygaard are not often able to perform in the Bay Area.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see them!
Chris Webster is best known as lead singer with the Cajun/country/R&B/swing
dance band Mumbo Gumbo. The success of her solo release, Drive,
inspired the Gavin Report to name her as one of the best Americana
New Artists of 1999, and her recent live CD, Now Playing,
showcases the sweet, soulful style and witty stage manner
that has enthralled audiences throughout Northern California
for more than a decade.
Cassie (Catherine) Webster (Chris’s sister) is known
throughout the Baroque music world for her delightful soprano
voice. Whether solo or in concert with other singers, Bach
and Handel never sounded so good. When she teams with big
sis’ Chris, however, it’s an entirely different
story. Hand-in-glove harmonies seem to spill from their mouths
like honey, and there is no song that doesn’t sound
new and fresh when they get ‘hold of it.
Nygaard is one of the most inventive and original guitarists
in the bluegrass/acoustic music scene. He's currently a member
of Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, the Bill Evans
String Summit, and Eric Thompson's Kleptograss, and played
for years with Tim O'Brien & the O'Boys and Laurie Lewis
& Grant Street.
As adept at creating magnetic rhythms as he is knocking
off stunning solos, Nygaard is possibly the best acoustic
guitarist to come along in bluegrass music since Tony Rice.
- Edmonton (Alberta) Journal
Haas also fiddles with Darol Anger's Republic Of Strings,
Yonder Mountain String Band, Danny Barnes, and Alasdair Fraser,
among others. She and Jack
Tuttle have frequently dazzled the RBA audience.
To hear Brittany play this old style is to be taken back
in time to the original feeling of this music. A selfless,
ego-less sound is born when she rocks these tunes that is
oh so rare in just about any style of music. It makes me
love this simple beautiful music again. There is a depth
of feeling that surpasses her age as she taps into a much
older feeling to this music. I just hear the music –
the honest, fluid, groovin' sweet tunes with incredible
pitch and tone and rockin' rhythm. -
Browne has been an active free-lance performer and recording
artist in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1979. Her jazz
credits include performances from Jordan to Japan. In recent
years, she’s also toured and recorded with Due West,
Bill Evans String Summit, Wake the Dead, The Quirks, Kaila
Flexer’s Next Village, Kathy Kallick, Chad Manning,
Rick Jamison, and many others. A noted jazz instructor and
clinician, Cindy holds a Masters Degree in classical performance,
currently teaches jazz history and music appreciation at two
Bay Area colleges, and is the Director of the jazz workshop
at Las Positas College.