Livin La Vida Local – Cerberus Shoal/Fire on Fire


One of these days I will be able to stop writing “this is the first…”.  I just hope that one day I won’t be saying this is the last.

So the local band I am going to talk about is actually two bands.  Well sort of.  I know I’m being confusing so let’s start from the beginning.

Cerberus Shoal is a band formed back in 1994 in Boston, MA.  For the most part though they were based out of Portland.  They are really hard to classify because their music has so many influences and has grown so much.  They use many diverse instruments such as quena, oud, zamponas, accordions, banjos, as well as the normal drums, bass and guitars.  Their music covers everything from atmospheric rock to progressive jam band.  Their music has progressed to include influences from music all over the world.

I first came across the band when I was a student studying video technology.  My senior project in studio production was to direct/produce some kind of live show.   Of course I chose music as a topic and after some investigation I found that 3 fellow classmates had musical ties.  One of those classmates, Scott, happened to be brother to Cerberus Shoal member Chriss Sutherland.  Scott got his brother and fellow band member Caleb Mulkerin to do a segment on my show.  I was given a copy of …and Farewell to Hightide and fell in love.

The band had broken up sometime in the mid 2000’s (although have released an album in 2010) but many of the members resurfaced in a group call Fire on Fire.  Fire on Fire thus far seems a bit more focused musically than Cerberus Shoal.  I would classify them as a Americana/Folk/Bluegrass mix.  They, like Cerberus Shoal, rely heavily on harmonies.   Other side projects members have been involved with include, Big Blood & The Bleedin’ Hearts and Tarpigh, as well as Chriss Sutherland‘s self named solo release.

The following videos are Broken Springs Spring Forth From Broken Clocks from Cerberus Shoal’s …and Farewell to Hightide with some incredible time lapse video created by YouTube user Mockmoon2000. (in 1080p even)

The second video is a live performance of Amnesia by Fire on Fire. (apparently in only 80-p)

Links for these bands are nonexistant or somewhat out to date (Cerberus Shoal’s website last updated in 2005) but here they are.

Cerberus Shoal Links:

Homepage – Facebook – MySpaceWiki – NPR

Fire on Fire Links:

Homepage (sorta) – Facebook – MySpace – Wiki – NPR

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