(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Boston-based string band Joy Kills Sorrow returns to Helsinki Hudson on Friday, September 9, 2011, at 9 p.m., with its bold new brand of acoustic music that combines tradition and innovation. Joy Kills Sorrow brings a decidedly modern sensibility to an old-world sound, channeling the prodigious talents of its individual members into elegant arrangements and well-crafted songs. The group releases its sophomore album, This Unknown Science, on Tuesday, September 13.
While the group pays due homage to its bluegrass roots – its name is taken from WJKS, a radio station that broadcasted the Monroe brothers’ show in the 1930s – the band truly excels in its rich and textured treatment of more contemporary material.
Founding member Matthew Arcara, a subtle and expressive guitarist, was the 2006 winner of Winfield’s National Flatpicking Championship and has performed with such luminaries as Darol Anger. Joy Kills Sorrow’s newest addition, mandolin virtuoso Jacob Jolliff, is Berklee College of Music’s first full-scholarship mandolin student and a veteran performer, having toured professionally since age eleven and shared stages with mandolin legends including David Grisman and Mike Marshall.
Wesley Corbett, a banjoist of uncommon facility and grace, was featured in the August 2008 issue of Banjo Newsletter and has toured nationally with Crooked Still and The Biscuit Burners. Emma Beaton, the 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Young Performer of the Year, adds an earthy, powerful presence to the band as its newly minted vocalist. And bassist Bridget Kearney, winner of the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, is largely responsible for Joy Kills Sorrow’s inimitable sound, thanks to her impeccable musicality and distinctive songwriting style.
Since its inception, Joy Kills Sorrow has performed in theaters, listening rooms, clubs and at festivals across the continent and has been featured on nationally syndicated radio programs. In 2007, the group won first prize in the Podunk Bluegrass Festival Band Contest; that same year, Sing Out! Magazine deemed them the poster children for the burgeoning Americana format.