Back in 2008, Maria started learning to play banjo and became involved with the vibrant UK bluegrass scene – going to sessions, festivals and music camp. A couple of years later she started learning to play fiddle and guitar and eventually switched to clawhammer banjo. In around 2012 Maria started to write songs and sing out in public at sessions. She initially formed the folk trio True North in 2012 and performed with them for a couple of years, including gigs at Holmfirth Festival of Folk and Hepworth Live.
In late 2015 Maria gathered together some of the best UK bluegrass musicians to form The Reckless Abandoners. The band performed an entertaining blend of bluegrass, Americana, acoustic country, folk and blues, making its debut at Orwell Bluegrass Festival (Ipswich) in May 2016 and going on to perform at all the major bluegrass festival events across the UK over the next three/four years. It became increasingly difficult to bring together a six piece band with members scattered around the UK, especially as all the members got busier with different projects.
While still planning to bring a full band line-up together occasionally, Maria and Phil have since established the Yorkshire based duo Phrase & Fable, and performed a number of live gigs in 2019 and early 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic brought live events to a standstill. Phrase & Fable perform a mix of mellow Americana and folk classics, upbeat bluegrass standards and some of Maria’s fine original songs, with guitar, clawhammer banjo, mandolin, fiddle and some fine harmony singing.
Maria is currently planning a solo recording project of some of her original songs, which will feature some super-talented friends, including some of the fine professional acoustic musicians she has worked with over the years, as a promoter and agent. One small silver lining of the pandemic is that many grassroots musicians who are usually constantly touring, are at home and available for small recording projects like this. Stay tuned for more news!
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