The Unfaithful Servants – Bio

 

The Unfaithful Servants have quickly gained a reputation in Western Canada as a must-see act. With an original and exciting approach to acoustic music, the group serves up explosive instrumentals, compelling story telling and high powered vocals. As Kelly Nakatsuka (Islands Folk Festival, CBC host) describes “The Unfaithful Servants are one of the most exciting bands form Vancouver Island in some time…gorgeous harmonies and fine song writing, beautiful instrumental interplay and some seriously rippin’ solos.” 

The Unfaithful Servants’ debut album, released June 2019, is a stunning collection of bluegrass / folk songs that traverse borders and (at times) genres. The group knows something about drawing inspiration from rebellion and restlessness. This struggle with finding a solid footing in life manifests itself within their process, and gathering from their myriad travels and connections – they have created something that is both familial and engaging.We represent a tradition of music that stems from The US but we are uniquely Canadian,” says singer-songwriter Dylan Stone. “The level of performance in the acoustic music genre, combined with the type of song-writing and delivery is not a common act to see in Canada. There are lots of great instrumentalists and song-writers who stem from traditional backgrounds, however we have come to see that our heart and soul does not live in the traditional string music world and we bring something different to the table.” 

Recorded at Shawnigan Lake Studios with legendary Grammy-Award winning engineer Steve Smith (Garth Brooks, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder), The Unfaithful Servants’ debut album is an electric collection of songs that grabs the listener immediately with its raw energy. Tracks like “Deliver Me” and “Everything I’ve Known” showcase their compelling arrangements and stellar musicianship. “Our influences and backgrounds are so diverse that you always hear a little of each of these influences in each song we create,” explains mandolinist Jesse Cobb. “We run the gamut from classical, bluegrass, rock and roll and traditional fiddle music, and usually try to incorporate all those ideas together to form a cohesive sound.” Dylan adds that arranging the songs is a meticulous process, “until we feel that the song has reached its maximum potential, then it is a matter of performing it with intention and energy and make its full possible impact known.” 

American born Mandolinist Jesse Cobb could be described as a virtuoso on his instrument.  He is a founding member of the critically acclaimed bluegrass group The Infamous String Dusters, who received a Grammy nomination for one of his original compositions.  Jesse has recorded and performed with Bela Fleck, Lee Anne Womack, Dirks Bentley, and Jim Lauderdale among others. He’s performed on the historic stage of The Grand Old Opry and has toured the world. His exceptional talent is widely recognized in the bluegrass world, and he is an innovator of the instrument 

Shortly after Jesse’s move to Vancouver Island singer/songwriter Dylan Stone identified Jesse’s depth as a musician and began a collaboration.  Stone is a restless songwriter who is constantly pursuing new sounds and collaborations.  An interesting and storied career has led him to share the stage with  Alejandro Escovedo, open for Keith Urban at BC’s largest country music festival, play onstage with Robert Randolf & The Family Band, and perform his songs for Lou Reed in Nashville, Tennessee.  A modern-day troubadour , Dylan has lived and toured across Canada and toured the West Coast extensively.

Jesse and Dylan’s collaboration grew to include Miriam Sonstenes on fiddle.  Miriam is a founder of beloved Canadian roots trio The Sweet Lowdown, who have won or been nominated for various awards at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, and Vancouver Island Music Awards.  She has studied under bluegrass fiddle legend Bobby Hicks and is a tireless student to her muse.  Jesse’s mandolin and Miriam’s fiddle grace The Unfaithful Servants with sounds both sweet and hard driving. Alex Rempel on stand-up bass solidifies the group with groove and versatility. Alex is a co-founder and core member of acclaimed and internationally touring indie-roots band West My Friend.  He also performs with the Victoria Symphony and Vancouver Island Symphony, and is an experienced performer in classical, jazz, and bluegrass music on both bass and mandolin.

Since the group founded in 2017, they have been continuously pushing forward the limits of traditional music and have a strong foundation of experience and skill to boast. With critically acclaimed performances under their belt (Vancouver Island MusicFest, The Islands Folk Festival, and Element Music Festival), this first official album continues to build upon that buzz.   

 

Photos by Darren Ho Media