At first glance, these two University of Vermont grads may seem a little young to be a folk roots duo, but then Celia starts smashing out a rhythm on her washboard and it quickly becomes obvious that this is for real.
Though only in their early twenties, Avi and Celia have been collaborating for seven years, creating a rich, powerful sound that carries the frenetic energy of a tent revival. Avi Salloway, a multi-instrumentalist from a musical family, plays as though he were born with a guitar slide on his finger. Celia Woodsmith, on the other hand, claims that she didn’t discover her voice until college, which is surprising, because it’s hard to miss. She’s blessed with one of those soulful Appalachian wails — something between a mother yelling at her child and an angel praising God.
Like Grace Potter and The Mammals before them, Avi and Celia are giving a fresh voice to the old genres of folk, country, and blues, translating them for the next generation. With two albums behind them and a growing legion of fans, they should be lighting up the stage for a long time to come, provided Celia doesn’t break her washboard in half before then.
For an audio clip and a concert schedule, go to: aviandcelia.com