Andrea Asprelli, a fiddler, singer/songwriter and leader of Cricket Tell the Weather, was introduced to American folk and bluegrass nearly ten years ago, when she was studying abroad in Canterbury, England.
“I didn’t intend to go there for music, I just met a bunch of musicians while I was there,” Asperelli said. “And I thought they would all be into Irish and English folk, but they all loved American music. So I got on board with them there.”
She said that the musicians over there listened to a lot of Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch and Del McCoury. “I don’t know how they got into it, but there was scene out there,” Asprelli said.
“And I grew playing classical music, so I wanted to do something different and I started playing with them and they dumped a bunch of music on me before I left and I came back to the states, listened to it a bunch and then found a bunch of people to play it with.”
Eventually that led Asprelli, who started playing classical violin at age five, to form Cricket Tell the Weather in 2012 with Jason Borisoff. The group released its self-titled debut album independently in April 2014.
The album has firm rooting in traditional American bluegrass and folk music, but is noticeably influenced by classic and indie rock. “There’s a lot of different stuff on that album and definitely indie rock,” Asprelli said. “But since recording that album we’ve sort of shifted. We had some different members and on that album there’s a lot of different singers and a couple different songwriters.
“And now the songs have shifted more towards my style. The songs that you hear that have more of my voice on them are characteristic of what we’re going to be putting out going forward and what’s going to be on the new album…. So that stuff has a less of a deviation, I think my style is more rooted in traditional folk and bluegrass from bluegrass melodies and instrumentation to folk stories.”
Asprelli admitted, though, that her style has not escaped the influence of the 90s pop music she grew up listening to. “We were practicing yesterday and I said ‘That line sounds like it came from a Blink-182 song’. I can’t help it,” she said. “I’m a child of the 90s.”
Cricket Tell the Weather’s new album Tell the Story Right is due out this summer, but Asprelli said that the group will play songs from the album at their show at Bikentic on Sun, Jan. 31 as part of the Stone Room Concert series. The album’s title comes from a line in the first single off the album, “Photographs.”
“We live in such a visual-heavy age when we’re all posting photos and videos everywhere,” Asprelli said. “So I was just looking at different photos that we have and thinking that those are only telling one side of the story. We only put our best pictures forward and that sort of thing. But we never know the full story.
“So it’s a song about when you’re reminiscing about someone or something your memory can get kind of clouded and is not totally trustworthy and you can look at a photograph or letter and try to piece together what was going on or what happened, but it’s more nebulous than that.”
• For more information about Cricket Tell the Weather, visit crickettelltheweather.com.