Fiddlers, guitarists, singers, and songwriters, Colin Cotter and Ethan Lewis do it all - and they do it in high-energy, passionate performances where they hold nothing back and lay all their cards on the table, uplifting audiences with heartfelt compositions and arrangements. Cotter and Lewis form the core of the ever-evolving exploration of contemporary American songwriting and the living tradition of Celtic music called, "A Thousand Years at Sea," and are joined on this musical adventure by groove-master Isaac James on djembe and drum kit. The music ATYAS crafts stays true to the band’s roots in folk music, but is constantly growing in exciting new ways, integrating Celtic, rock, Americana, West African rhythms, and instrumental improvisation “into something sweet and subtle” (Sacramento News Review). Every so often, Neil Pearlman makes his way West from the East Coast, adding genre-defying, foot-stomping piano grooves.
Known for his inventive and intricate tune writing, Ethan’s lyrical and rhythmic fiddling brings an infectious energy to audiences. Colin has made a name for himself as a skilled multi-instrumentalist - he is a self-taught guitarist, mixing influences from around the world, and draws from a family tradition in Finnish fiddling. Neil’s unique piano style is based in Cape Breton traditional music, but draws heavily from many other genres, including jazz, funk, and Latin music. On djembe and drum kit, Isaac’s background in African drumming traditions meets funk, jazz, and rock to bring a wave of drive and energy to the mix.
The band’s new album, “The Stillness Here” (2012), is an illustration of the way a band can morph with time – the songwriting stems from the same place, but the arrangements tend toward a more contemporary, high-energy sound than ATYAS’ debut release, “Silver Shores Await” (2009), and continues the trend in that direction set by their 2011 EP, “We Will Fall Apart.”