I’ll never forget the first time I heard Trevor and Travis. I was 18, freshly arrived in North Carolina to attend college outside of Asheville. I was obsessed with old-time music, had been listening to it my entire life, but I’d never heard anything like the Stuart brothers. I was bowled over. Graceful and groovy, delicate yet driving, fresh as well as timeless — music that could make you dance or stop you in your tracks. Or both.
The sound of Trevor and Travis Stuart playing together will always be one of my favorite sounds. This document of the two of them is gorgeous and intimate. I’m so glad it exists. –Rayna Gellert
North Carolina’s Trevor and Travis Stuart represent the pinnacle of traditional North Carolina old-time fiddle/banjo duet playing. Here they are playing 23 majestic pieces under the microphones and camera lens of David Bragger at the Tiki Parlour in May of 2015. Tragically, Trevor passed away the following March causing shockwaves in the old-time community that will be forever felt.
This marks the final release of their duet playing without any accompaniment or audience. The brothers sat down and played classics from their repertoire while being carefully filmed in the intimacy of this magical space. Beautiful close-ups of hands and instruments decorate the experience of taking in their exquisite natural music. These are truly some of the finest fiddle/banjo duets ever recorded.
“Tricia Spencer’s own deep family fiddling roots and Howard Rains’ passion for saving old Texas music from extinction come together in this beautiful collection of tunes, songs and paintings. I immediately had the feeling of being invited into something very musically personal and special. Strong harmonies and nice, tight playing, congratulations on a fabulous project.” –Bruce Molsky
The Skeleton Keys, (2017) Spencer & Rains and the Old Time Tiki Parlour present seventeen tracks of old time music, each song collaboratively illustrated by Tricia and Howard in a full color, 40-page book, bound in a beautiful, 7.25”x5.5” letter press cover. The recording also features Charlie & Nancy Hartness on uke and guitar respectively, Brendan Doyle on banjo, and Emily Mann on bass.
Printed and hand assembled by Stumptown Printers in Portland, OR on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.
1. Get Up in the Cool
2. Walk Around My Bedside
3. Cumberland Gap
4. Gone Indian
5. Tom Sherman’s Barroom
6. Miller Boy
7. I Truly Understand
8. Stony Point
9. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
11. Billy in the Lowground
12. When First Unto this Country
13. Good Ol’ Cider
14. Creek’s All Muddy
15. Walk Around My Bedside (waltz)
16. Big Powwow