James Hickman and Dan cassidy at Rugby Roots

By IH Thursday 25 October 2012 Updated: 08/11 11:50

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Buy photos » James Hickman and Dan Cassidy - Rugby Roots date on November 17. (s)

TRANSATLANTIC folk and roots duo James Hickman and Dan Cassidy return to Rugby on Saturday November 17.

Hickman’s soaring vocals and driving guitar will be complemented by Cassidy’s virtuosic fiddling at Lawrence Sheriff School in the latest Rugby Roots concert.

Their sound flows from the connection between British and American folk, combining humour and heartbreak, with Hickman's distinct English wit set against Cassidy’s bone-dry irony and American drawl.

The duo formed in 2008, beginning with several local shows in James' hometown of Shrewsbury and the surrounding county of Shropshire. Their relaxed banter and unique musical style was warmly received and they were soon performing further afield.

The following year, with the prospect of more comprehensive tours ahead, they recorded and released debut album Severn Street, which features arrangements of traditional songs and tunes and several of their own compositions.

Their successive tours have grown steadily in size and they now perform throughout the UK, from the Scottish Highlands to the Isle of Wight.

Inspired by their love of traditional music from Britain and America, James and Dan continued writing together. Their latest original material is being incorporated into their live show and will be debuted in the autumn tour.

James was born in Shrewsbury Shropshire where he was raised on a diet of folk and bluegrass music. James’ bluegrass musician father bought him his first guitar and at 13 he started performing with him at sessions and folk clubs.

After music college, as well as solo work, he was also one half of the duo Hickman and Quinn, and went on to join folk group Uiscedwr who he worked with for two years.

Dan grew up in a musical family in Maryland, and took up the violin on his tenth birthday. His formative years as a teenager were productive, as Dan absorbed a broad spectrum of musical styles on the violin, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, country, blues, and rock.

While touring professionally in the U.K. in the 1980’s, Dan was introduced to the music of Shetland fiddler Aly Bain, which sparked his keen interest in Celtic music, and the U.K. folk scene in general. Dan has spent the last 15 years in Iceland as a successful session musician, and has been returning to the UK regularly to perform with his own group, The Dan Cassidy Swing Quartet. He also appears on several recordings of his sister, the late Eva Cassidy.

Tickets for the Rugby concert are £12, available from Rugby’s music shop Sounds in Church Street, direct from Rugby Roots by calling 01788 567338 or online via www.rugbyroots.com. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night from 7.15pm. The concert starts at 8pm.

James Hickman and Dan Cassidy - Rugby Roots date on November 17. (s)

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