Photo by: Donn Young
Craicdown performs “world acousticana” - acoustic roots music with a high-energy, rock inspired flair. Integrating influences from many parts of the world and various genres with uncommon instrumentation, Craicdown’s music creates a distinctive, unique sound that draws from traditional and contemporary sources. Craicdown writes original material as well. They perform songs with vocals and instrumental pieces influenced by a wide variety of styles, including Celtic jigs and reels, Brazilian choros, Parisian musettes, and American traditional music.
The ensemble’s instrumentation sets it apart from other acoustic acts. The band features Rob Sharer on guitar, flute, fiddle and vocals; David DiGiuseppe on accordion and Irish cittern; and Jim Roberts on drums and percussion.
Craicdown's ability to harmoniously blend instruments and styles from all over the world serves to reinforce their message that music has the power to heal and unite. A collaboration of three spirited players, this trio brings to the stage musical inspiration, a fire in their fingers, and a love for their art. Durham's Craicdown—loosely translated as “a good time”—performs energetic acoustic roots music that draws on a rich variety of sources, including Celtic jigs and reels, Brazilian choros, Parisian musettes, and American traditional music. Since forming Craicdown, the trio of Sharer, DiGiuseppi, and Roberts has become a mainstay on North Carolina's acoustic music circuit, with past performances at Raleigh's Artsplosure Festival, Okracoke Island's Okrafolk Festival, the Bynum Front Porch concert series in Chatham County, and Durham's Music on the Lawn series at the American Tobacco Campus.
Craicdown succeeds not only on the strength of its members’ musical talents, but also their ability to blend wide-ranging traditions into a new hybrid.
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Sharer was born and raised in North Carolina, and his unique musical voice draws from his grounding in folk, rock, classical, and jazz. He moved to County Clare, Ireland, to absorb the music there in 1998; it was during this time that he learned first-hand to play the Irish music that is now such an important part of Craicdown's repertoire. In Ireland, Sharer became a fixture for several years on the session scene, playing with many of Clare's finest musicians, including Kevin Griffin, Terry Bingham, Christy Barry, Denis Liddy, and Michael Hynes. During 2001-2002, following a brief stint with the San Francisco band Luce, Sharer spent time in Germany, where he produced and played on Dublin singer Shane Brady's recording A Light Shines Out To Sea. In 2003 he appeared with Denis Liddy and Michael Hynes on the acclaimed CD Waifs and Strays, a collection of Clare dance music.
In 2006, Sharer returned to his native North Carolina, where he teaches Irish music. Sharer's solo recording, Vines, features his own compositions for fingerstyle guitar. In addition to guitar he also plays Irish flute, double bass, fiddle, and mandolin.
DiGiuseppe has been performing professionally since 1978. He is known for his fiery and emotive playing and is equally at home performing Irish tunes in a pub, French musettes in a cabaret, contra or Cajun music for a dance, or in the intimate setting of a concert hall. In addition to playing with Craicdown, DiGiuseppe tours nationally with his ensembles FootLoose and Contrazz, and he works with numerous other bands. As a singer and storyteller, DiGiuseppe presents solo concerts to schools and family audiences. Previously, DiGiuseppe has toured and recorded with acclaimed Cajun singer and songwriter J.J. Reneaux, the Big Zucchini Washboard Bandits and many others.
DiGiuseppe has released three recordings showcasing his playing of music from the Celtic, Parisian and American traditions. Reviewer John O'Regan of Ireland wrote "a player of immense talent and vision, David is a musician worth encountering." DiGiuseppe is featured on four releases by his band FootLoose, a new CD by Contrazz, and appears on numerous CDs backing other musicians. He has also published two written collections of traditional fiddle tunes arranged for accordion through Mel Bay Publications, plus his newest book The Mighty Accordion: The Complete Guide to Mastering Bass/Chord Patterns.
Roberts has been fascinated with percussion since childhood and still keeps the kid as part of his percussive art. He performs with instruments from all over the world, including West African djembe, Cuban cajon, Middle Eastern dumbek, and Brazilian panderio. Roberts has recorded and performed with Flecktone members Futureman and Victor Wooten. He also has performed with The Horse Flies, Shane Theriot (Neville Brothers), and Billy Dean (1995 Reba McEntire tour) and recorded with Jan Pulsford (Cindi Lauper, Thompson Twins).
Roberts has released three recordings--CapeTown with South African singer Paul Petersen; Two Traditions, featuring the Horse Flies; and Tranze is the Danze (Ancient Hand Project) featuring Beth Nielson Chapman and Victor Wooten. In addition to performing, Roberts is an in-demand session player, producer, and teacher. As a producer and studio engineer, Roberts has worked with diverse musical styles such as African, Afro-pop, Cuban, folk, bluegrass, rock, alternative, and experimental.