The Ballroom Thieves’ plan to take over New England is well underway, but it turns out they didn’t even need to own New Hampshire and Vermont to get some national attention. The Boston-based folk’n-cello trio, which in recent years has turned heads performing at festivals like Newport Folk in Rhode Island and Boston Calling here in Massachusetts, has now teamed up with the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra for a new EP and tour.
The first treat from this unlikely collaboration comes in the form of a new video for “Bury Me Smiling”, an album cut from the Thieves’ 2015 debut LP A Wolf In The Doorway that has been given new life and urgency. The video, produced by Herman Mantis, was premiered today by Bob Boilen’s NPR segment, All Songs Considered.
The Ballroom Thieves vocalist and cellist Calin Peters gave NPR a bit of background on the musical partnership with Maine Youth Orchestra. She writes via email: “This collaboration represents much more than an alliance of two genres. Classical musicians have long been trained to live in a rigid world, yet this younger generation of string players already understands the beauty in a lack of rules.”
Peters adds: “Having come from a classical youth I never quite fit into, I think if an opportunity such as this youth orchestra had been available, I not only would have had an outlet that more accurately catered to my learning style, but more importantly, programs like this keep kids learning instruments longer than they otherwise would have.”
The collaboration has opened new doors for the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, as well.
“Working with The Ballroom Thieves on this collaboration has given our orchestral students the opportunity to perform with a national band,” its executive director and founder, Kevin Oates, tells NPR, “and demonstrate that they are not restricted to classical music.”
Up next for the Thieves and the Orchestra is a collaborative tour, which hits select festivals and kicks off in — where else? — Portland, Maine, in April 15. There’s no Boston date, but the string fest plays Rockport Music’s Shalin Liu Performance Center on April 23. Full dates and links are below.
TOUR DATES w/ MAINE YOUTH ROCK ORCHESTRA 4/15 PORTLAND, ME 4/16 PORTSMOUTH, NH 4/17 BURLINGTON, VT 4/19 VIENNA, VA 4/20 ARDMORE, PA 4/21 BROOKLYN, NY 4/22 PROVIDENCE, RI 4/23 ROCKPORT, MA