"Avi & Celia combine sexy roots swagger with populist fire."
-The Boston Globe
A raucous washboard, sliding steel guitar, and two resounding voices bond together to deliver gritty, original music. Simmering with hip-bending, blue-tinged melodies, this powerhouse duo is creating something that it totally their own.
How do you make something new? Study the old.
Avi & Celia have delved deep into the traditions of American music; exploring and studying the cultural music of the delta and country blues, the activist folk songs of the Pete Seeger era, jazz from New Orleans to it's contemporary, the soul music of the early Atlantic Records recordings, all the way to rock n' roll and today's pop music. The two versed musicians take what they've learned from their predecessors and weave it through their dynamic personalities and experimentation. "You can tell right away that this music comes from the very fiber of their souls and it is absolutely spellbinding to listen to." -Rock and Roll Report
Since moving to Cambridge, MA from Vermont, Avi & Celia have focused on making music expressively for the people: trying to integrate and inspire those of all backgrounds, races, and classes. Their new album, Let it Rise, (independently released, September, 2008) combines this hopeful idealism with personal commentary on social and political agendas. The song structures and deep blues inflections intuitively weave through the lyrical content. Both deeply personal and politically charged Let It Rise is a collection of stories that the Seven Days calls "powerful and believable."
Avi & Celia have been consistently touring the Eastern United States, building a loyal fan base over the last several years. They have performed at legendary venues and festivals such as the Iron Horse Music Hall, Club Passim, Higher Ground, The Paradise, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, and the Discover Jazz Festival. Their fearless performances have also landed them high profile concerts supporting renowned artists such as Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, and Big Brother & The Holding Company.
Avi & Celia met at the University of Vermont in 2003 and soon afterward decided to pursue music together. After performing in several combinations throughout college they independently released their debut record, Off the Floor (March 2007). The release of their album and their explosive entrance into the Burlington music scene prompted famed music venue Higher Ground to award them Artist of the Month in March 2007.
Avi & Celia are true performers who leave their inhibitions at the door. Melophobe reviewers say that most memorable of their live concert was Celia Woodsmith's energetic strumming [or whipping] of the washboard. You'll find no complaints from me as she definitely put it all into the music. Avi Salloway's multi-instrument talent smoothed out the roughness of the sound and provided the soul of the sound, both literally and figuratively. Kate McNally, host of the Folk Show on NPR says, "See these folks in concert they're gonna move you; I know they're gonna move you."