It’s been a year since our debut tour celebrating the album-release of “Roots Grow Deep,” and Katie and I are itching to jam all of our sound equipment into the car and drive down to the sunshine! We’ve spent our fall and winter working up new and old songs, playing fun shows around Portland, collaborating with other local Portland bands, and now gearing up to hit the road and see all of you.Katie has put together a slam-bang itinerary (see “Shows and Tour Dates” page), starting us in the Bay Area, then on to Davis, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and finally, Pacific Grove. Come out, invite your friends and grandmas and work colleagues and neighbors, and enjoy some live indie-folk music right fresh from Oregon!Down the trail,
Rachel and Katie
Friends long before they were band-mates, Rachel Byron-Law and Katie Fitzgerald met in the summer of 2010 while leading wilderness trips in northern Washington. By day, they paddled 30-foot war canoes across the Salish Sea, courting adventure and consulting weathered tide charts. By night, armed with little but a salty guitar and a page of hand-written lyrics held up to the flickering light of a campfire, their first musical collaborations were earnest efforts to sing their restless campers to sleep. Unsurprisingly, the ebb and flow of the ocean often wends its way into the seams of Arbielle’s indie-folk tunes.While Byron-Law has written, performed, collaborated, and recorded as “Arbielle” for years– keeping the moniker and honing her craft as she moved from Portland to Walla Walla to Brooklyn and back– she took a leap of faith in February of 2012 when she invited folk rookie Fitzgerald to add vocal harmony and guitar to her month-long album release tour. To promote Byron-Law’s first solo album, “Roots Grow Deep”, the duo hit the road, traveling between Orcas Island and the San Francisco Bay.Since last February, the girls of Arbielle have settled into playing local gigs near their home in Portland, Oregon, and have devoted their time to writing new songs, re-working older arrangements, and collaborating with other Northwest folk artists. The music they bring with them on their second California tour is steeped in a sense of place, a continual wonder at the ordinary and bittersweet beauty of life, and an unflagging gratitude for the solace, freedom, and connectedness that music has brought them.
While intertwining vocal harmonies comprise the heart of their performance, Arbielle’s accompaniment is a delightful wildcard. Comprised at any given moment of piano, guitar, ukulele, banjolele, whistling, clapping, cajon, fiddle, or even a lighthearted a-capella ditty about a little blue bicycle, Arbielle’s music is as soulful as it is playful, and as upbeat as it is thought-provoking. Stop by a show this March, and you’ll understand exactly why audiences up and down the West Coast come away from Arbielle’s concerts with smiles on their faces, a new-found love for live music, and a sense of joyful belonging.