Hailing from Cornwall, in the South West of England, FLATS AND SHARPS blur the lines between Bluegrass, Folk, Country & Pop, gaining recognition for performing their own highly original songs as well as their renditions of Bluegrass classics. These five incredible young musicians honed their skills in 350 live performances over nearly five years charming and wowing audiences along the way.
In 2016 they released their ‘King of My Mind’ album to great critical acclaim (see quotes below) and had 2 songs from their Hyde Park Proms show of 2015 on Radio 2’s Bob Harris Country. Live highlights for the year include Cambridge Folk Festival and many other festivals in the UK and Europe as well as appearances on Sofar Sounds, Balcony TV and a showcase at The SummerTyne Americana Festival at The Sage Gateshead. To cap it all off banjo player Kirk Bowman has been nominated for UK Instrumentalist of the Year by members of The Americana Music Association UK and will find out his fate in February at the Awards and Conference in London where the band are also showcasing
Whilst each of the members show impressive solo credentials and their live show is hugely entertaining, it is their maturity as songwriters that really sets them apart and on their album the band recorded a dozen brilliant self-penned songs as well as presenting a mini history of American music with Bluegrass readings of songs by Goffin and King, Gillian Welch and Jesse Fuller. From Cornwall to Kentucky and beyond, here’s a band that see far beyond these shores and their own roots.
With new recordings, a tour to Europe and one to Australia planned as well as shows in larger capacity venues 2017 looks to be a breakthrough year for the band.
The young kings of Cornish Bluegrass kick up a righteous storm of banjo boosted, sweet voiced idealism. A triumph. DAILY MIRROR
This fusion promises to attract country enthusiasts and a wider pop audience, as have those North Carolina former buskers, the now massively successful Old Crow Medicine Show. All five were impressive instrumentalists and equally fine singers, taking it in turn to provide lead vocals or harmonies. Robin Denselow – THE GUARDIAN *
If anything is likely to win a younger audience away from over-produced and unimaginative pap and back to music built around skilful playing and melody then Flats and Sharps our probably our best hope. Peter Tomkins – R2 (ROCK N REEL) MAGAZINE ****
I recommend seeing Flats and Sharps at the earliest opportunity. If you can prove your disappointment, I’ll personally send you a cash refund. Mark Ellen – R2 (ROCK N REEL) MAGAZINE)
The picking is exhilarating, the harmony vocals precise. You can but admire. Fred Deller, MOJO ****
King of My Mind is a Saturday night record, a going out, indulgent, unrestrained binge of an album that frequently delights. FOLK RADIO UK
A fresh blast of vivid songwriting from a group who are informed by the classics but feel devoutly modern. CLASH MAGAZINE