It’s rare to find two musicians so finely-attuned to each other that they are barely a pulse apart.
Gabrielle Macrae and Barry Southern have been impressing fans with a super-tasty interpretation of that territory where traditional Bluegrass and Old-Time cross over sweetly. The original material that is woven in so seamlessly, blends to perfection.
Gabrielle was drawn to the traditional music of the Appalachians like a moth to a flame. As a teenager she travelled extensively in and around western North Carolina, attending fiddlers’ conventions and festivals where she absorbed a feast of gems as well as playing styles “from the source.”
Fans of the genre began to take notice of her authentic clawhammer banjo and fiddle style. In 2008, The Macrae Sisters issued an album that won rave reviews in publications such as Sing Out! and The Old Time Herald.
Barry had been well-rooted on the Bluegrass scene for several years, played with different bands and is equally accomplished on both banjo and guitar. They really are a meant-to-be pairing. When they sing harmony vocals, that “sibling-sound” purity tickles the goosebumps to stand to attention.
Reviewing their most recent (2021) release, ‘Started Out In Town,’ for the influential Folk Alley, finger-on-the-pulse taste-maker Devon Léger complimented them on the “beautiful” playing and said it was: “true to the tradition while making it sound fresh and vibrant.” They also enjoyed critical acclaim for their first two albums, released in 2016 and 2018.
Whether performing as a duo or a four piece The Horsenecks raise the bar to set new standards on today’s roots music scene, with years of touring under their belts and appearances at major festivals both in the USA and Europe.
The 4-piece is hotter than a mink in Malta, with the duo backed up by big names of the genre – Brian Bagdonas and Kevin Sandri on bass and guitar. Together, they had set the standard for Old Time rhythm sections with their contributions to the original line-up of Foghorn Stringband.