True to their name, Across The Water’s all-acoustic repertoire comes from both sides of the Atlantic – just like the players. Steve Goodchild hails from the north of England, and Bob Lahmeyer and Paul Cooper are natives, respectively, of Missouri and Texas. Despite diverse geographic roots, they share some key things in common.
“I think we all hooked into folk music early, and started playing and singing when we were teenagers,” says Paul, who remembers performing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” for his high school assembly in the 1960’s; Steve’s father had to drive him to gigs when he started performing in Folk Clubs at fifteen, and Bob recalls his college band “practicing Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young numbers a capella for hours on road trips until we had it nailed!”
When ATW comes to play, they show up with a lot of instruments. All three play guitar. Bob can pick a hard-as-nails bluegrass banjo on one number, and then turn a deft hand to the bass on the next one. Paul plays backup and solo mandolin, and has recently been seen behind more exotic things like bouzoukis and octave mandolins, holding Steve totally accountable for his new fascination for things with more than six strings! Depending on the performance, Steve might come out toting a mandolin, mandola, a cittern or even the mandocello he calls “Bloodaxe”. Stir three capable voices into the instrumental mix and you have all the ingredients for a veritable smorgasbord of new and traditional music from their respective countries and regions. They have also been known to put aside the wood & wire and, without the benefit of that safety-net, deliver the occasional unaccompanied number in distinctive tight, three-part harmony.
These guys are passionate about their music, enjoy performing it and sharing it with their audiences.