On March 24, Lyons-based band Taarka released its latest album, Making Tracks Home. It’s their sixth full-length album.
Taarka features David Tiller and Enion Pelta-Tiller, who draw musical influences from Romania and Appalachia, on mandolin and violin. Making Tracks Home is their follow-up to the successful Songs from Vagabondia. It features new explorations of bluegrass, Celtic, classical and gypsy-jazz, woven into a unique sonic quilt best characterized as folk-rock.
Tiller, who also plays bass, tenor guitar and bouzouki and sings, was born just outside of Washington, D.C. and raised in the National Historic Landmark district of Waterford, Va., a region rich with bluegrass history. Pelta-Tiller, a classically trained five-string violinist and vocalist, was born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, where she began studying violin at 3½. Now making their home in Lyons, the pair met in 2001 in New York, where they busked in the subway and became members of Brooklyn Browngrass before forming Taarka. Their touring band includes bass master Troy Robey and guitar prodigy Mike Robinson; on Making Tracks Home, their accompanists include guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Sam Grisman.
Originally an instrumental string band, Taarka has evolved into an act with two lead vocalists; the pleasant contrast can be heard on “Heart and Song,” which features Pelta-Tiller, and “Old Waterford Town,” featuring Tiller. As befitting a pair of vagabond musicians (they’re raising their already-performing son, Aesop, on the road), the couple simply likes to go where the music takes them.
According to Tiller, the band goes as deeply into the music as they can to see what happens when they “come out the other side.” The results of this exploration can be heard on Making Tracks Home. Visit http://www.taarka.com to purchase the album, find tour dates and learn more.
1) Heart and Song
2) Old Waterford Town
3) Moon Song
4) Trip to Duncan
5) Another Morning
7) Bouncing Tale
8) Look at Miss Ohio
9) River’s Eddy Blues
10) Crocodile Tears
11) The Lark and The Owl
Originally published in the April 2015 issue of the MMAC Monthly