The Cantrells


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Please use this "Press Release" for promotional copy.

Fact Sheet (revised August 2019)

(Please go to the link "Press Release" for promotional text)

The Cantrells have been touring and performing their original folk and bluegrass music in concerts and festivals since 1985. Their performances feature Emily Cantrell's singing, her original songs, her swing rhythm guitar, Al Cantrell's contest-winning fiddling in traditional, swing and Irish styles, their duet harmonies, "fiddlesticks" ("playing the straws") and a wide variety of songs from bluegrass to Broadway musicals. They are currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Al Cantrell spent several months traveling in Ireland, England and Europe learning tunes from the local fiddlers. Al Cantrell usually features Irish fiddle tunes in the concerts. 

The Cantrells have recorded five CDs of mostly original songs featuring Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Ranger Doug and Too Slim from "Riders in the Sky", Jim Hurst, Rob Ickes, Tim O'Brien and Mark Schatz of "Nickel Creek". These recordings receive radio airplay across the US and in other countries. 

The Cantrells were chosen by Robert Redford to perform in his hit movie "A River Runs Through It". 


The Cantrells performances at Contradance Festivals feature Al Cantrell's original contradance tunes with Emily on piano and guitar. Several of their original tunes have been recorded by other contradance bands. They also have a  repertoire of English Country dance music. 


The Cantrells enjoy presenting school performances as well as workshops in conjunction with their appearances. Their school shows inform as well as entertain and include audience participation. Workshops focus on swing guitar, songwriting, fiddle styles, vocal harmony, sing-along songs, Western songs, the history of American fiddling, contradance piano styles, fiddle skills, singing skills, and the music business from an independent artist perspective. 

For several seasons The Cantrells taught swing guitar and fiddle at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch


Their future recording plans include a CD of standard swing songs and a fiddle CD of Al's original tunes. 

In recent years The Cantrells have especially enjoyed touring in the Rockies during the summer months; their tours include the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Mid Atlantic states and the Rocky Mountains.