James Hickman & Dan Cassidy
Hickman’s emotive, soaring vocals and driving guitar is complemented by Cassidy’s ingenious and virtuosic fiddling. Their sound flows from the connection between British and American folk and is bursting with all the humour, heartbreak and excitement of these genres. The lively English wit of Hickman is set against Cassidy’s bone-dry irony and American drawl as they take audiences on a dynamic and unforgettable transatlantic journey.
James' and Dan's duo was formed in 2008, beginning with several successful local shows in James' hometown of Shrewsbury and the surrounding county of Shropshire. Their relaxed banter and unique musical style was well received and they were soon performing further afield. The following year, with the prospect of more comprehensive tours approaching, they recorded and released their debut album ‘Severn Street’, featuring arrangements of traditional songs and tunes and several of their own compositions.
Their successive tours have grown steadily in size and they now perform throughout the UK, enjoying concerts from the Scottish Highlands to the Isle of Wight. Inspired by their love of traditional music from Britain and America, James and Dan continued writing together. New original material is being incorporated into their live show and will be debuted in the upcoming autumn tour. Autumn 2012 will be a busy period for the duo with 26 concerts ahead of them and more being announced.
James was born in Shrewsbury Shropshire where he was raised on a diet of folk and bluegrass music. James’ father (an avid bluegrass musician) bought him his first guitar and at the age of thirteen he started performing with him at sessions and folk clubs.
After music college, James travelled with his guitar to Ireland and then to Iceland. In Iceland he co-formed ‘The Dan Cassidy Swing Quartet’. James then returned to England where he began performing as a solo artist and formed the duo ‘Hickman and Quinn’. He went on to join folk group Uiscedwr and worked with them for two years.
James now performs in the UK and Europe as part of ‘Hickman and Quinn’,‘The Dan Cassidy Swing Quartet’ and ‘James Hickman and Dan Cassidy’.
Dan grew up in a musical family in Maryland, USA, gaining a solid backround in music after taking up the violin on his tenth birthday. His formative years as a teenager were productive, as Dan absorbed a broad spectrum of musical styles on the violin, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, country, blues, and rock.
While touring professionally in the U.K. in the 1980’s, Dan was introduced to the music of Shetland fiddler Aly Bain, which sparked his keen interest in celtic music, and the U.K. folk scene in general. Dan has spent the last 15 years in Iceland as a successful session musician, and has been returning to the U.K regularly to perform with his own group, The Dan Cassidy Swing Quartet. He appears on several recordings of his sister, the late Eva Cassidy.