Old time new wave

Maria Mulcahy moshes out to Dyad.

Even though you can call what they do Old Time, don’t expect their music to sound obsolete.

“Anything that comes out of me is relevant to today as well,” explains Kori Myanishi, of the Vancouver folk trio Dyad. “We’re not attempting to recreate anything. We didn’t live in the 1920s.”

After spending a lot of his musical life playing in punk and alternative bands, Myanishi’s interests migrated toward folk and bluegrass music. He says something about American old time music stuck with him.

“For me it wasn’t really a concious decision, it was one of those things that compels you. It picked me,” says Myanishi, who founded the group and leads on banjo and vocals. “[The kind of music we play is] very personal, and stirs up a lot of images and ideas. We’re not just romanticizing about a time period.”

Myanishi’s ideas really took off after meeting Shihoh Mizumoto, who plays fiddle in the band. Mizumoto, a classically-trained violinist, shares Japanese roots with Myanishi, as well as an interest in punk rock.

Leah Abramson, who sings and plays guitar, made the duo a trio in 2004.

“When they asked me to join I didn’t know much about this style of music. I started playing it before I even knew what it was all about,” explained Abramson. “But I love it now.”

Travelling across the States and Canada, they’ve been gaining momentum and receiving sensational reviews from magazines and newspapers, including the Toronto Globe and Mail. Reviews often bring attention to the storytelling, their tales ranging from haunting, cautionary stories to chronicles of love.

“The songs we write are about things like love, tragedy, joy,” says Myanishi. “We’ve all experienced those things; they’re timeless.”

You can get your Dyad fix at this year’s Folk Festival happening in Bannerman Park from August 3rd to the 5th.  Catch them on the 4th at 9:55 pm on the main stage.

Check out their tune “Red Rocking Chair” at podcast.thescope.ca