Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr, two accomplished musicians, have created a harmonious partnership that has enchanted audiences around the world. They seamlessly blend the enchanting melodies of the concertina with the skillful rhythms of the guitar. Simon, one of the foremost concertina players of his generation, and Ian, a respected guitarist and composer, first collaborated in 1988 and have since captivated audiences with their intricate interplay of melodies. Their critically acclaimed albums HOOTZ! and He Thinks He’s Invisible showcase their unique blend of traditional folk and innovative compositions. Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr’s partnership is a testament to the power of collaboration in music, elevating their individual artistry and enriching the world of folk music.
Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr, two accomplished musicians in their own right, have created a harmonious partnership that has enchanted audiences around the world. Individually, they have carved out remarkable careers, but it is their collaboration that truly shines, blending the enchanting melodies of the concertina with the skillful rhythms of the guitar.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Simon Thoumire discovered his love for music at an early age. The concertina, a bellows-driven instrument that produces a distinct and rich sound, became his instrument of choice. Thoumire’s dedication and natural talent propelled him to become one of the foremost concertina players of his generation. His virtuosity and innovative approach to the instrument have garnered him critical acclaim, and he is often hailed as a trailblazer in the folk music scene.
Ian Carr, from Bangor, Wales, grew up listening to his parents favourites – The Clancy Brothers, Janacek and James Last LP’s. He graduated from one finger accordion to Octopuses garden on his mums guitar, and then immersed himself in the world of jazz, blues, and folk, drawing inspiration from guitar legends such as Peerie Willie Johnston and Martin Carthy. With his remarkable style and ability to weave intricate melodies, Ian has established himself as a respected guitarist and composer.
Simon and Ian’s paths first crossed at the very first Radio 2 Young Tradition Award in 1988, where their shared love for traditional folk and innovative compositions sparked an immediate connection. Recognising the unique blend their instruments could create, Thoumire and Carr began collaborating, seamlessly combining their individual styles and musical sensibilities.
They played their first gig together at Sidmouth Folk Festival in 1990, and they went on to perform on the TV programme – Aly Bain’s Shetland Sessions recorded at Shetland Folk Festival in 1991. It was around this time that they made their first critically aclaimed album HOOTZ! on Black Crow Records. After a few years off in the 2000s they got back together to perform at the 30th Shetland Folk Festival in 2010. They had so much fun performing that they made their second album He Thinks He’s Invisible in 2013.
Beyond their collaborations, both musicians have remained dedicated to nurturing and supporting the next generation of musicians. Thoumire founded the Hands Up for Trad organisation, which promotes traditional Scottish music and provides opportunities for aspiring artists. Carr, on the other hand, has served as an influential guitar tutor and mentor, passing on his knowledge and passion to countless students.
Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr’s partnership stands as a testament to the power of collaboration in music. Their shared journey has not only elevated their individual artistry but also enriched the world of folk music. As they continue to create and inspire, their melodies will resonate in the hearts of music lovers for generations to come.
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