Martha Scanlan & Jock Tyldesley
Martha Scanlan’s haunting voice, unique perspective and poetic imagery
secured first and second place in the Bluegrass and Country categories at
the prestigious Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest in 2003 for Little
Bird of Heaven and Hallelujah.
They also helped to gain national acclaim for her Old-Time string band, Reeltime Travelers. They played the Grand Old Opry, recorded a cut for Cold Mountain and were featured on the Great High Mountain Tour with other artists from the Oh
Brother Where Art Thou and Cold Mountain soundtracks.
Martha’s first solo project, The West Was Burning, featuring Dirk Powell,
Levon Helm, Amy Helm and Glenn Patscha, was recorded in 2007. Since
then, she has played with a host of outstanding musicians. Her 2008
tour with the Stuart Brothers was documented in a live album.
Scanlan started playing when a guitar was left at her house after a party.
She was 21 and living in Montana. “I had gotten into Bluegrass, and I
went to the fiddle contest in Weiser, Idaho,” she says. “That was the first
time I saw people playing Old-Time music, and it really knocked me out”.
After moving to east Tennessee, she helped start the Reeltime Travelers
and T Bone Burnett enlisted the band to sing his Gospel song, Like a
Songbird That Has Fallen, on Cold Mountain. The subsequent tour
turned out to be the tinder box for The West Was Burning.
“I spent a good deal of time with Dirk and the folks in Ollabelle on the Great
High Mountain Tour, and a lot of these different sounds came out of that
experience – melding Old-Time music and people with more of a Blues, Jazz,
and Gospel background. We played tons of different music in these jams
Jock Tyldesley is a virtuoso fiddler with an enviable reputation in Cajun music circles. Not only is Jock the lynchpin of the Flatville Aces, one of Europe’s most highly regarded Cajun bands, and the recently formed Sugar Moon but he has also toured extensively with US greats: Balfa Toujours, Sheryl Cormier, Dirk Powell and the legendary Eddie Lejeune.