Sandcatchers was formed in the corner of Cheryl’s, a bustling soul food restaurant in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Given the opportunity for a weekly gig, oud player and guitarist Yoshie Fruchter called some neighborhood friends to see what kind of music they could make together. Joined by Myk Freedman, Michael Bates and Tim Keiper, a fresh sound was created blending the Middle Eastern trope of the oud with the dreamy, Americana-infused textures of the lap steel – and a new project was born. Featuring original music by Fruchter inspired both by Middle Eastern maqam and the Appalachian trail, Sandcatchers is a beautiful collaboration of sound and souls.
Capturing the vibe of the bluegrass/Americana scene spearheaded by musicians such as Bela Fleck and Yo-Yo ma with the Middle Eastern flavor of forward-thinking oud players like Rabih Abu Khalil and Ara Dinkjian, Sandcatchers has created its own tuneful world. Fruchter’s compositions are simple and catchy, but with an understated complexity that keeps the listener guessing. Each instrument plays a prominent role in every song, melodically contributing to the composition and enhancing the effect that this is a band, not a group of individual musicians.
An already accomplished guitarist and composer in the NYC world and experimental music scenes having recorded multiple albums for John Zorn’s Tzadik records among others, Fruchter breaks new ground with Sandcatchers. Moving away from the heavy, avant rock influenced sound of some of his previous music, he explores something more vibey, atmospheric and acoustic, while still retaining the melodic quirkiness and accessibility of his previous compositions.