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When The Bird and The Bear perform together people can't help but take notice. They treat every note as an intimate moment; not just between the two of them but with the audience. To listen to them is to observe a balancing act of vulnerability, sincerity, and effortless musicality.
The duo can be defined as two worlds meeting. Almost literally. Mirthe Bolhuis hails from the below-sea-level lowlands of Groningen, The Netherlands; while Garry Wood comes from the mile-high altitude of Saratoga, Wyoming. They both displayed an avid love for music early on. Mirthe had access to her parents' expansive music collection containing musical giants such as Crosby,Stills, and Nash; Johnny Cash; and Alison Krauss. Garry dug his way through his parents' collection finding gems from Garth Brooks to Michael Jackson and a few Beatles 45's in between. After pursuing higher education and other endeavors in music they finally crossed paths in Nashville, Tennessee at Music City Hostel in the summer of 2011 where their personal and musical relationship sparked and bloomed.
A long distance relationship is one thing but a long distance collaboration poses another challenge with the duo having to spend over half of their time apart, working in three month bouts. So The Bird and The Bear wasted no time in putting together their debut EP "Breathe". Housed at Prime Cut Studio in East Nashville, they recorded the project live on the floor in one session early in February of 2012. In April of the same year they released it digitally, shortly followed by hard copies. The effort has been lauded as "brilliantly beautiful music" (marsbands.com) and "an intense and triumphant debut" (navigatornic.co.uk). Opposites do indeed attract as illustrated by Mirthe's sweet, sultry voice wrapping up Garry's cathartic howl; blending naturally in that mutual space where their two worlds merge. Their sound has most often been compared to The Civil Wars and the pairing of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (two highly influential acts for the duo) most likely for their acoustic, bare-bones approach to their songs
Coming from two different parts of the globe does have its perks. They have now put international dates under their belt within their first year, discovering their appeal to audiences in The US, The Netherlands, and The UK with lines forming at merchandise tables almost immediately after each performance. Mirthe and Garry are both excited to be working on new music for their fans and honing their unique live sound.