No Band Is an Island to release new CD at Sunday concert
June 25, 2008 · Updated 12:38 PM
"Julie Hougom-Housley's cover art for No Band Is an Island's new CD reflects the album's name: Live at WICA. The band will debut the CD on Sunday in a concert at WICA with Finest Kind.CD release concert for Live at WICA Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m.Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, LangleyTickets, $12 and $10, at the WICA box office, 221-8268Live at WICA, CD, $12. South Whidbey's No Band Is An Island formed two years ago to provide a local opening act for the Ottawa-based group Finest Kind at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. We received such a warm reception that we decided 'No Band' was too much fun to disband, said Randy Hudson, who plays the English concertina -- among other instruments. Linda Morris plays the flute, Phil Marple the guitar, and Devin Ossman is multi-faceted with the silver flute, Irish flute, wood piccolo and garden hose flute. Hudson adds the hammered dulcimer and conga drum.Since their first appearance at WICA two years ago, the musicians have experimented with a variety of traditional and contemporary acoustic music -- American, Celtic, early music, original compositions -- and some tunes that don't fit well into any category. We have fun with arrangements and instrumentation -- adding conga to a fiddle tune, playing a flute made from a garden hose, or weaving unusual harmonies. We often invite guests to join us on stage, Hudson said.Last spring No Band Is an Island went back to WICA for a concert entirely their own, and with the house full of friends and neighbors, the evening took on the added dimension of community. The music on the new CD was recorded that night, and later edited and polished in the studio. Now, No Band is once again opening a concert for Finest Kind, this time celebrating the release of their CD, which will not be available until concert night.An all-instrumental album, Live at WICA includes a varied mix of sounds. One is an early music melody called Easter Thursday; there is a French Canadian reel, traditional Irish jigs, a wedding waltz written by Hudson for a neighbor; a medley composed by Ossman; and a song called The Last Boat. (Anyone living on an island served by a ferry will recognize the urgency of this piece, reads the liner note.)Finally, the CD records The Whidbey Ramble, reflecting a typical tourist's experience here on Whidbey.Guests on the album include Dennis Keough on the bodhran, Kerry Mann playing the fiddle and Greg Garbarino on the guitar.No Band Is an Island will start off the evening with a set that includes selections from the CD as well as two new original tunes. In a special addition, the Island singers of Blue Marble -- Susan Morris, Paul Houser and Tom Walker -- will lend their three-part harmony to one of the songs.Finest Kind will perform following intermission, singing a broad repertoire that includes traditional British American, Celtic, Newfoundland, Ottawa Valley, sacred harp and Gospel sounds.They sing drinking songs, love songs, songs about life and death, songs sentimental and biting, hilarious and tragic, Hudson said. The trio includes Ann Downey, Ian Robb, and Shelley Posen. Robb, originally from London, England, is a charter member of the much-loved and notorious Friends of Fiddler's Green and has recorded a half-dozen albums with them and on his own. He is the composer of the anthem to the British pub, The Old Rose and Crown.The audience is invited to visit with the performers in the lobby before and after the concert. No Band Is an Island will also be appearing in Coupeville at the Rec Hall on Nov. 15, and in two sets (noon and 2 p.m.) at the Best of the Northwest Craft show in Seattle Center on Nov. 19. "