Raucous Washington, D.C.-based Celtic/world combo Scythian (pronounced “sith-ee-yin”) belts out high-energy stuff. Comprised of classically trained musicians, Alexander Ferdoryka handles fiddle and mandolin, among other instrumental duties, while his brother, Danylo, plays rhythm guitar and accordion. Josef Crosby switches between violin and bass. Michael Ounallah keeps time on the drum set and percussion. From the start, the quartet’s goal was to blend an eclectic mix of worldly music styles — from Irish and Appalachian folk to gypsy fiddle tunes, jazzy klezmer excursions, and old-fashioned bluegrass — into adrenaline-fueled, audience-interactive performances. The band’s latest collection, Live Vol. 2, is an edgy compilation of jigs, ballads, and klezmer jams. It features a few country numbers, too. “We have a pretty diverse set list with so many different genres,” says Alexander Ferdoryka. “The set list leans more toward Celtic instrumentals with a few recognizable standards, which is a cool way to incorporate the crowd into things.” If Ferdoryka and his band mates continue to put their training, skills, and open-mindedness to such great use, they could win over even the grumpiest drunks, domestically and beyond.
T. Ballard Lesemann