Midnight Flyer

07
Apr 2017
Friday

Guitarist Ethan McCreadie and banjo player Andy Davis crossed paths at many jams around Philadelphia before deciding to form a band together in 2014. From the start, Midnight Flyer was focused on becoming an outstanding vocal harmony band, drawing on the sterling examples of Stanley Brothers, the Osborne Brothers, and Flatt and Scruggs. McCreadie’s buttery lead and Davis’s high tenor are the backbone of Midnight Flyer, and they can pick, too.

Genre
Hard Driving Traditional Bluegrass
Band Members
Banjo/vocals – Andy Davis, Guitar/vocals – Ethan McCreadie, Mandolin: Jonathan Wallis, Fiddle: Michael Durkin, Bass: Matt Thomas
Hometown
Philadelphia, PA
Influences
Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Ralph Stanley, Tony Rice, Flatt and Scruggs,

What the band needed next was a mandolin player, and Davis remembered meeting one who he thought might fit the bill. Jonathan Wallis, whose rehearsal room in his barn was covered with old photos of the bluegrass giants, was obsessed with the old sound. Davis reconnected with Wallis and invited him to pick with the other players in the band. Wallis’s mandolin brings a strong, rhythmic chop and dark, mountainy tone to Midnight Flyer that compliments the bright drive of Davis’s banjo. His baritone voice has found its place in the standards and spirituals the band loves to play.

Midnight Flyer’s lineup was rounded out when Matt Thomas joined the band in the Fall of 2015, on permanent loan from Philly bluegrass friends (and rivals), “Man About a Horse”. Thomas’s bass tone is playful and inventive, but always just ahead of the beat, giving Midnight Flyer the rhythmic drive audiences keep coming back for. His musical ideas bring new life to the arrangements – and the band was delighted to find out he makes a fine emcee, too.

Philadelphia has seen a resurgence of bluegrass in the last few years with many new bands popping up and old ones resurfacing. Midnight Flyer is making its mark on the scene with the outrageously high harmonies, clean picking, and rhythmic tension that make traditional bluegrass so fun to listen to.

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