Since its beginning music has continued to evolve. No longer are there simply Pop – short for popular, Rock, Country, and Alternative – an alternative to what is popular. Today’s music crosses genres, countries, and generations to truly become a world of music.

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Award winning Canadian multi instrumentalist Andrew Collins has adopted a few new terms to describe the musical style of his band – The Andrew Collins Trio. Going beyond the term New Acoustic music or New Grass (a modernized bluegrass), Collins prefers the term Chambergrass.

After picking up the mandolin while he was in his early 20’s, Andrew said that he knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life after only playing for six months. Andrew said that the music began to take over his life. Since first picking up the mandolin; Andrew has added the mandolo, the mandocello, fiddle, and guitar to his list of instruments.

But Andrew isn’t the only multi instrumentalist in the band. While Mike holds down the bottom on his standup bass, guitarist James can switch off on a variety of instruments with Andrew.

Noting that he likes surprising the audience with the unexpected, Andrew and James change things up on stage, swapping instruments and sharing the vocals.

The Andrew Collins Trio is an acoustic trio who do not use any monitors on stage; instead choosing to listen to each other as they perform and there isn’t a bunch of equipment out in front of the performers blocking the audience’s view. That truly acoustic setting is one reason why Andrew says that he really enjoys playing house concerts.

The Toronto native is currently working on a new album – a concept themed album – which has the working title of “Tongue and Groove”. A rarity for this age of single digital downloads and streaming, the album will be a double release with on album only vocals – Tongue – and the other only instrumentals – Groove.

Looking to release the album in April, Tongue features mostly cover tunes – including a couple of obscure Roger Miller songs, while Groove will feature mostly original instrumental pieces.

Like the violin family that includes the violin, viola, cello, and bass; the mandolin also has a family of the mandolin, mandola, and mandocello. Not a typical band instrument, Andrew frequently has difficulty in locating strings for his mandocello. Once wile in Australia he found himself in need of some new mandocello strings. Upon walking into the music store, to Andrew’s delight there on the counter was a pile of strings that the store owner had just taken down because he had not sold any in a long time. Not only did Andrew find himself with enough sets of strings to last for several months, the store owner was overjoyed to have sold the strings and gave Andrew a great deal to take them all.

 

photos courtesy of The Andrew Collins Trio

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