"The Rothschild brothers present many extremes — beautiful acoustic numbers, wild bagpipes, trumpet and accordion played by one person at the same time, Bulgarian zydeco, klezmer and West African rhythms, to name a few.
But while their music is varied, it is far from random. There is a solvent behind all these different dry ingredients that allows them to blend seamlessly: original songwriting with respect and love for their music. This is Round Mountain.
Char Rothschild, the elder of the two brothers, gives new life to the word multi-instrumentalist. Over the course of a live performance, he sings, plays trumpet, guitar, banjo, dobro, accordion, Irish whistle, gaida (Bulgarian bagpipes) and saz (a type of Turkish lute). In the studio, he will often play instruments such as the ney (Turkish flute), clarinet, trombone and percussion. Robby Rothschild, the younger of the two, sings, plays cajon (Peruvian/flamenco box drum), djembe, bouzouki, mandolin and kora (West African harp).
“My goal is to follow the pulls of my heart as authentically as possible, which leads to a lot of different territory,” explains Char. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve coined our style as ‘traveling music,’ since it traverses many places, both in the heart and in the world.”
Round Mountain’s travels take many forms. From the experience of fatherhood to the lifelong pursuit of music, from shared childhoods in New Mexico to performances all over the world, each is a form of travel that brings a new layer to their latest album Truth And Darkness (Fast Horse Recordings).
Through these travels, their background ranges from Balkan and West African styles to traditional Appalachian music, from Celtic to funk. Char has played in Tokyo with the Old Moscow Circus, toured Australia with the Afro-funk band Panjea and recorded with Latif Bolat. Robby has studied djembe in Mali and the United States, as well as toured and recorded internationally with Kip Winger, Panjea and Ottmar Liebert.
Renowned bassist Jon Gagan (upright bass) joins the Rothschild brothers on Truth And Darkness. Known for his work with Liebert, Gagan brings his immaculate musicianship to the band and creates a soulful and rhythmic chemistry with the two brothers.
Truth And Darkness is a lively mixture of ceremony and irreverence, of exuberance and reflection. Beneath all of these unlikely marriages, a certain warmth remains to unify their sound and their message. The end result is an overwhelming feeling of kinship. This spirit extends to their live shows — musical styles, audiences, and the artists themselves are united in a Round Mountain performance.
In a time when most music has become so brightly polished that no one can see inside, Round Mountain presents a rare rough gem of humanity that glows from within."