The Horsenecks

By Adam McKinney

Roots music has never really been far away from the contemporary, American-music landscape, but the past couple decades have seen it enjoy a resurgence in popularity and visibility. Some of this has to do with the indie folk-rock boom we experienced about 10 years ago, which undoubtedly served to shed a light on more artists that hewed closer to a more traditional sound. Just as we were rediscovering roots music stateside, as similar trend was happening over in the U.K., with bands drawing as much inspiration from Americana as from their own history.

What better way to get a taste of both worlds than to listen to The Horsenecks? Primarily made up of Gabriel Macrae and Barry Southern (and joined by other musicians, depending on which side of the pond they’re performing), The Horsenecks reflect an intersection between U.S. and U.K. old-time. Macrae, hailing from Portland, Oregon, brings an Appalachian flavor to her fiddling; Southern, meanwhile, comes from Liverpool, England, and lends a nimble banjo to dance with Macrae’s fiddle. Their sprightly debut album was met with acclaim when it dropped in 2015, leading to them becoming fixtures in this blossoming international roots scene.

Macrae and Southern share lovely harmonies when they choose to sing, but they seem just as happy letting their instruments do the talking, crafting dynamic, joyful ditties that free the mind to wander. Whether tackling standards or offering up their own material, The Horsenecks carry a carefree energy that never fails to get toes tapping and spines tingling. With a light touch and a spring in their step, The Horsenecks are here to put smiles on faces and get people dancing with their neighbors. At a festival as packed as Oly Old Time, this is a band no one should miss.


The Horsenecks


7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15


South Bay Grange

3918 Sleater Kinney Rd NE, Olympia


$20 For Friday Night’s Concert


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