Story Road began in 2012 as a side project for two members of Molly’s Revenge (Santa Cruz, CA) and vocalist Colleen Raney (Portland, OR). Before long they had become one of the premier traditional Irish bands on the West Coast. They regularly convene for tours that have earned them the love of trad music fans from Santa Barbara to Seattle. Their live show ranges from driving dance tune medleys to heart breaking songs of love and immigration.
Fronting the band is Portland, Oregon’s Colleen Raney, a gifted traditional singer who just released her fourth album, titled “Here This is Home.” Colleen’s open-minded and warm-hearted approach to her repertoire was instilled by Seattle’s celebrated Raney Family, where she grew up steeped in step-dancing and song. She breathes new life into the old tunes, finding facets in the music that haven’t been heard before and performing in the company of gifted friends who illustrate both the most delicate and upbeat aspects of her winning style. It’s earned her a following among longtime adherents of Celtic music as well as younger fans who are new to the genre.
Colleen has toured extensively both at home and abroad. Highlights have included The KVMR Grass Valley Celtic Festival, Winston-Salem Celtic Festival, Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts, and Seattle’s respected Northwest Folklife Festival, where she has been a performer since 1980. Her music can be heard on radio from Italy, to Ireland, to New York, to Hawaii, to Japan and all parts in between. Tradconnect.com writes that Colleen is “one of America’s best traditional voices.” (Sept 2013)
John Weed and Stuart Mason are members of Molly’s Revenge, a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. Molly’s Revenge has performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA, and prestigious events in Australia, Scotland, and China. They have released 11 albums and appeared on stage with John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Aaron Jones, and other top Celtic artists. “There is an engaging freshness and yet an impressive maturity in their playing,” said National Heritage Award recipient Mick Moloney.
An accomplished fiddler across genres, John Weed has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the traditional styles of Clare and Donegal. The result is an old-time Irish fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, swing, and other American music. Stuart Mason has been collecting and performing traditional music for over 30 years. He has appeared on stage from Ireland to China performing Celtic, old time bluegrass, and his original compositions, which have won awards from the West Coast Songwriters Association.
Internationally acclaimed flute player and singer Hanz Araki will be joining the band for the April 2015 tour. Araki, recently called “an Irish music phenomenon in west coast America,” is known for his fresh an innovative approach to traditional Irish and Scottish music. The son of a Japanese shakuhachi Grand Master, Araki Kodo V, and a Scots-Irish mother, his musical sensibility is both inspired and disciplined and has made him a household name from the UK to Japan. In his 25 year career, Araki has earned the praise of the international music community including Fatea Magazine, who raves “(his) musicianship is superb …achingly beautiful; a real delight.”