- THE ONLIES -
The Onlies are a highly entertaining and talented group of 13 year old musicians from Seattle, and some of the Northwest’s foremost young interpreters of Irish, Cape Breton, Old-Time, Scottish, and Quebecois music.
Samantha Braman, Riley Calcagno, and Leo Shannon have been friends since they were toddlers, and have played at festivals and venues in and out of town.
I’ve been playing music for about 7 years. I like playing baseball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, and snowboarding. I like all kinds of music, from the kind we play to indie rock, to everything else. G’bye.
Hola Amigos! I’m Sami, and I’ve been playing with Leo and Riley since we learned how to play fiddle (Like a zillion years ago!) Just kidding, we’re only 13! I love soccer, track, basketball, and of course playing fiddle! Anyways, I take lessons with Ruthie Dornfeld, and attend Northwest Scottish Fiddlers once a month with Calum Mackinnon. I love celtic music, and pretty much anything else!
I’ve been going to concerts, falling asleep in the back of dances, and going to shows of friends and family since before I can remember. Obviously music is a huge part of my life!
Some fiddle inspirations of mine are Sammy Lind of Foghorn Stringband, Tommy Jarrell, Ron Kane, Bruce Molsky, Brittany Haas, Chance McCoy, Alasdair Fraser, Lauren Rioux, Rhys Jones, Darol Anger, Liz Carroll, Stephen Grappelli, and of course many others. My songwriting and singing idols are John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, Aiofe O’Donovan of Crooked Still, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and many others. Other musical influences are Django Reinhart, Rushad Eggelston, Natalie Haas, John Doyle, and Itzak Perlman and (of course) many more.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, noodling on instruments, listening to my favorite podcast Too Beautiful To Live, watching an internet vlog called vlogbrothers, having a quiet day at home with my family, jamming, listening to lots of varieties of music from traditional to indie folk to indie rock to classical to terrible pop music. I take lessons for classical violin from Marjorie Talvi, piano and music theory from Valerie Shields, and guitar from Ryan Hoffman
In their own words...
We hail from Seattle, and play gigs in classy places like the ACT Theater and Northwest Folklife in Seattle, and lively scenes such as Terrible Beauty Irish Tavern in Seattle and the Muddy Rudder Pub in Portland.
When you hear The Onlies, what comes to mind is an explosion of different amazing things, not any one particular genre or style. That’s explosion not in a war way, but more like a very delicious food way.
The Onlies sing original songs, play several different kinds of traditional fiddle music authentically, write our own rocking tunes, put new spins in things that need new spins and keep things that don’t.
While the band does not like to focus on the last fact, instead saying that we would rather people judge us for our music and not our age, in truth we are all just young scallywags of thirteen years old. So you might ask, how have we gotten so aged in our musical stylings and technique? (Aged like a good cheese, not like an elderly home although we have entertained the residents of a few.) It’s all about practice.
We have been a band since we were all were very young and know each other’s moods and moves. We practice often, like some old rock star touring band. How do we write such poetic and good songs when we haven’t even taken a high school creative writing class? Let’s say maybe it’s just one of the great wonders of the world.
We need to look up the world record for youngest people with two albums out, but right now we are working on and practicing for our second album. The first album was songless and only seven tracks, but still a total joy to listen to. Ask KBCS-FM, because they play it all the time. The second album will feature songs and great tunes and will be a real masterpiece, we hope. When the album is released, we’re going to tour and could be in a town near you. Hopefully you live near New York City, because we sure would like to play Carnegie Hall, but if not, that’s okay. We treat every show like Carnegie hall, even when we’re playing on street corners.