Few bands go looking for the metaphorical crossroads, but once they encounter it, there’s no turning back. So was the case last year with Annalivia, the Greater Boston-based group that since its beginnings five years ago has drawn plaudits for its intelligent union of Irish and other Celtic and British Isles traditions with American roots music, plus a gradual incorporation of original material.
The band underwent a membership change, as fiddler Brendan Carey Block and string bassist/banjo player Stu Kenney departed, and fiddler-vocalist Mariel Vandersteel, with solid foundations in Celtic and old-timey/Appalachian as well as Scandinavian music, joined co-founders Flynn Cohen and his wife Liz Simmons, and fiddler-vocalist Emerald Rae. With a string of performances this year that includes New Bedford Summerfest, BCMFest, One Longfellow Square in Portland, Me., The Basement in Northampton, and the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas, and now, their brand new CD (and third overall), “The Same Way Down,” Annalivia has moved well along from the crossroads of 2011. Read more