Redwood Bluegrass Associates

Shows From the Past

 

The Websters

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 guitarist (Scott), 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.

Brittany HaasScott 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

Brittany 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. - Mike Marshall

Cindy BrownCindy 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.

 

 


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