Each of the five members of Old Favorite has performed for many years as a soloist or as a member of other ensembles. Old friends, they began playing together once a week for the sheer pleasure of it. And eventually the music got so good that the band named itself-for an old Irish tune-and began playing out, first at contra dances and festivals, and then in clubs and concerts. The band knows how to drive ‘er, as they say at Cape Breton dances, and in concerts and clubs Old Favorite mixes expertly played tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton with the vocals of three of the members. The oldest of the Favorites, Emery Hutchins, plays concertina and bodhran, and has a long history as a performer with the Angel Band, Northeast Winds, and, these days, with Maine country music legend Mac McHale, as Two Old Friends. Flute player Sarah Hydorn and fiddler Burt Feintuch have played for hundreds of contra dances with the Lamprey River Band and other groups. Guitarist and vocalist John Carew performs as a solo act and is sought after for his sensitive accompaniment skills. And Bill Zecker, on piano and octave mandolin, actually seems to play nearly every instrument known to humankind; a semi-reformed rock and roller, he has played in a vast array of musical configurations, including the Lamprey River Band. Bringing disparate backgrounds, but sharing a love for well-played tunes and well-wrought songs, Old Favorite is something new in New England.


 

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