The Harper and the Minstrel
The Harper and the Minstrel are the husband and wife team of Jay and Abby Michaels. They have been performing Celtic and Renaissance music together since 2002. Jay plays the both the nylon and wire-strung Celtic Harps, Guitar and he sings. Abby sings, plays Flutes, Recorders, Pennywhistles, Guitar, Harp and Bowed Psaltery. Together they perform traditional and popular music from the Celtic lands and beyond, Renaissance tunes, and original compositions. They have recorded five Cd's together.
The Harper and the Minstrel have appeared at Renaissance Festivals in New York, Florida, Arizona, California and throughout New England.
They have also played at Celtic Festivals, Coffee Houses, Irish Pubs, Nursing Homes, Restauraunts and for Weddings and private parties.
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Abby and Jay have spent their lives studying and performing Music. Both have BA's in that field. Both have been performing in various musical groups since High School.
CD Review from the Fall 2006 Celtic Beat Magazine...
I have to admit I like this new CD by The Harper and The Minstrel among the best from local artists. The tunes here are well integrated with each other, from Jay Michaels' own compositions, to traditional Scots tunes to O'Carolan standards. Among the latter I particularly like the excellent "Fanny Power" and "Planxty John Irwin." Also an appealing "Planxty Burke." And "Irish Washerwoman," and "The Aire of Londonderry" where the duo take these time honored tunes and does something a little different here. Also in the now oldie "Scarborough Faire" where Jay has a nice harp solo. And as in the opening and title cut where he sets the tone. This release comes to a great finale with a haunting beautiful "Skye Boat Song" showcasing Abby Michael's flute.
This is an excellent CD for anyone who appreciates musical craftsmanship. The kind that gives you serenity. -AK
"Jay & Abby Michaels are a breath of fresh air in the world of music. What's new about them is an ancient approach to songs, instrumented with a Celtic harp and flute. It's a lovely sound played by two very talented musicians. Their repertoire is wide, filled with songs you might expect... Celtic, traditional, olde English ballads, and delightful originals that feel like they've been sung for hundreds of years, by the Fairy Folk. Then equally accomplished, they turn their attention to something more modern, like a song by "Yes".
They've been coming to my Open Mic in New Bedford MA for a couple years, and the audience is always delighted by what they bring. I've also seen them at the King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA and found they shine there as well.
Spend time with them, and listen to their music... whether in person or on CD... and you will become a fan, too."
"New Bedford's Troubador"
Host of the Cafe Arpeggio weekly Open Mic
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