Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno write and perform old-soul roots music with stunning breadth and originality. Though both just out of college, their talents extend far beyond their years. Both Leva and Calcagno grew up in the Appalachian stringband tradition, have noted parents in the old-time scene, and spent formative years running wild around festival campgrounds. They are steeped in an instrumental culture of hard-picking and virtuosic musicianship. However, this duo project fluidly melds this traditional backbone with fresh, iconic melodies and tightly wound vocal harmonies. Calcagno first attended SMF as a participant in the Acoustic Music Seminar.
A Transatlantic folk duo, The Foreign Landers are upstate South Carolina mandolinist David Benedict and Northern Ireland banjo player and guitarist Tabitha Agnew Benedict. Before forming The Foreign Landers, Tabitha performed with BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award finalists Cup O’Joe from Northern Ireland, and British bluegrass band Midnight Skyracer. David toured with 10-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year recipient Missy Raines, and later with New Artist of the Year ensemble Mile Twelve. These opportunities led both of them to receiving Instrumentalists of the Year Momentum Awards from the IBMA. Both of them are previous participants in SMF’s Acoustic Music Seminar, and they are the bluegrass artists featured in this season of SMF’s Musical Explorers.
“Striking a firm balance between old-school and contemporary, they make a case for freshness in their sound even yet to be found.” –POPMATTERS
“Listening to The Foreign Landers’ music is like reuniting with an old friend.” –BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED