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Celtic, Americana influence band I Draw Slow

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Dublin, Ireland-based band I Draw Slow brings to the stage original folk music rooted on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The idea originally was that old-time country music was a classic form of songwriting that we wanted to write in that style, using a string band lineup as the sound,” band guitarist Dave Holden wrote in an email.

“The Appalachian sound is a big influence on us, as we listen and play a lot of it at home. It’s funny but we didn’t consciously try to do the Irish thing.”

It was only when the band made its first tour of the United States that audiences told the band members that they could hear the Celtic influence.


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“I guess we can’t escape it,” Holden wrote.

This summer, I Draw Slow is on a monthlong U.S. tour that includes concerts at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in New York’s Catskill Mountains, and at venues in Connecticut, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico. It’s the third time the band is touring the United States in the last 12 months.

The New Mexico performance is Thursday, July 25 at the Botanic Garden in Albuquerque.

With Holden in the band are his vocalist sister, Louise Holden, fiddler Adrian Hart, clawhammer banjo player Colin Derham and bassist Konrad Liddy.

“My sister and I write the songs and the way it usually works is I write the music and she writes the words. It works well because she is a writer and is conscious of a very good narrative, whereas I just like how things sound,” Holden said in the email.

“So I’ll go to her and give her the melody, then she writes the lyrics and comes back to me and I’ll usually chop it up till it makes no sense! We’ll argue big and come to some kind of compromise.”

Before I Draw Slow formed in 2008, the Holden siblings had played separately and together in various musical groups involving different styles of music.

“When a couple of things ended, I started writing (Irish/Americana/folk) music, which is what I was really interested in. And then I got my sister involved,” Dave Holden wrote.

“We carried on as a duo for a bit and then gradually the others got on board.”

The band signed to U.S. label Pinecastle Records last summer.

P.S. Members chose the band name I Draw Slow because they liked the sound of it.