/ Here’s a shorter version of this bio /

The Faux Paws have a problem. They’re a triangle band in a land of circles. Musically impossible to describe, they don’t even fit into todays often hyphenated-genre world. No fan, industry expert, nor member of the band can seem to sum up this band’s sound in any kind of marketable way. They continue to remain a singularly unique outfit in the acoustic music community, always on the fringes, always memorable and with an increasing number of die-hard fans who feel like they’ve uncovered a secret.

Is it bluegrass? Not usually. Old-time? Occasionally. Is it Celtic? Can’t quite say that. Is it Folk? Americana? Jazz? Singer-songwriter? None of the above, but members of the Paws have deep ties to all of these traditions and blend their elements effortlessly to serve whatever musical idea is being presented. 

So what can we say? This band takes risks. They’re dynamic, exciting, sincere, irreverent, infectious, and surprising. They move deftly between moods, influences and instruments but always maintaining a “groove” that pulses through the music like a heartbeat (you may not always be aware it’s there but it gives the thing life). 

A Faux Paws live show is an explosive roller coaster ride that brings the audience along. Virtuosity on the fiddle, mandolin, guitar and saxophone, sure, but also vulnerability, personal lyrics, tight 3-part brother harmonies, playful interplay, intricately arranged details and soaring improvisations. 

According to FolkAlley.com its Trad. Their self-titled 2021 release was named one of the 10 Best Trad albums of the year from around the world. With the considerable success and praise the band has seen since coming out of the pandemic the Paws decided to add long-time friend and collaborator Zoe Guigueno (Fish & Bird, Della Mae) to their touring outfit on upright bass whenever possible. Zoe only deepens the group’s already massive sound while freeing each member up for more creative expression on their various instruments. 

Need more? Well a few points people usually notice: the saxophone that behaves in ways they’ve never heard. An oft-heard ‘compliment’ to Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist Chris Miller is “I thought I was going to hate the saxophone!” Fiddle-phenom Noah gets most of the attention on his feet – due to his unique approach to his Quebecois-style foot-percussion he’s developed. Combined with his jaw-dropping array of percussive chopping elements on the fiddle he contains the sound of a full band on his own. Except its his brother Andrew carefully executing complimentary chords and riffs on the guitar that makes Noah’s sound what it is. 

But spending too many words talking about this stuff detracts from the fact that it’s the original songs – and heart – that keep folks coming back for more year after year. In the band’s 12th year they returned to the studio and emerged with an EP showcasing a huge amount of music in a 5-track sampler. The live-energy of the newly minted quartet is on full display, with very little added. The Backburner EP was released in April 2023 and reached Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Albums. It will be fun to watch writers take another stab at describing it. 

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