Pulling threads can lead to new discovery; such is our mandate and mission here at Cover Lay Down. But this week’s must-hear two-fer comes via an especially circuitous route, one which began with the snailmail delivery of Unraveled, the Kickstarter-funded debut album from Threeds, an avant-garde oboe trio based out of NYC.

As expected, Unraveled isn’t folk; iTunes auto-categorizes it as Jazz, and I suppose that’s about right, though the beatbox rhythms which drive several early tracks are delightful, and the album resonates well with my classically-trained spouse, too. But I’m quite glad I decided to spin it anyway, as among the multiple covers and originals on this tightly woven genre-smashing journey of an album are several tracks accompanied by guitar and voice – and though my favorite of these, Edge Of My Seat, is not technically a cover, but a new arrangement of an original song penned and performed here by Amber Rubarth, the Little Feat cover below, which features Rubarth and Paul Brill on vocals, is more representative of the eerily well-produced album, which also contains reed-driven covers of Charles Mingus, Radiohead, Bjork, The Doors, Michael Jackson, and more.


Kyle Bella for the – June 20, 2011

(Review of the Summer Solstice celebration at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia)

For those with more serious tastes, another highlight was the Threeds Oboe Trio, a New York-based trio of Kathy Halvorson, Katie Scheele, and Mark Snyder, who played in the intimate, upstairs Rendell Room. However, even they represented the diversity in classical music, opening up their performance with an arranged tango classic and covering music from Bach to Swedish-pop oddity Bjork. The standout number, however, was their arrangement of a Radiohead song. The song succeeded in highlighting the technical virtuosity of all the trio’s members as well as their willingness to take risks producing engaging, contemporary classical music.

Tim Price for Rico Reeds:

Have you heard Threeds? Well you should!

They are; Kathy Halvorson, oboe, Mark Snyder, oboe, Katie Scheele, oboe & English horn

~ If I was a betting man I would have laid money on the elusive spirit of delight Threeds play with that they would of packed and rocked Linclon Center or Alice Tully Hall just as they did at Cafe Vivaldi.
Sunday they dedicated their performance to the memory of Daniel Pearl, journalist and fellow musician. Special guests included Pavel Vinnitsky on bass clarinet and Francine Kay on piano.

The early set by Sam Jacobs was fantastic as well. Sam is a total original.His music was really unique and having Katie play oboe or English horn was an asset to the music. Katie has a 6th sense about the English horn, she really feels it and hear it’s place in modern music. She is a sonic spirit and someone to listen for.

They did amazing arrangements of music by Radiohead, Charles Mingus, Stevie Wonder and Bjork.
It goes without saying that the musicians in the Threeds are dedicated and talented, as it goes without saying that they are committed and hard working. But that does not explain what happened yesterday evening in Greenwich Village.It was clear that something truly remarkable was happening,this music is loaded with power and emotional intensity.The ensemble brought a mystical life force to the music.

We all know that great music making only happens when creative energy can flow freely between composers, performers and listeners. Threeds made 10/10/10 a special day.I enjoyed Mark Snyder’s commitment to ensemble playing through his exceptional depth of understanding of not just the music, but his instruments place in it. His oboe sound is amazing! The composition that Kathy Halvorson played on her oboe with pianist Francine Kay was world class. Kathys playing hits you! You can hear this stunning lady plays because she has to.Passion! As with all of the players in Threeds, artistic commitment and the love of oboe, English horns and the forward motion of that was evident all night. Let us not forget Pavel Vinnitsky on bass clarinet, a stunning player and special guest.

It was great to hear the trio rise to the occasion, and stay relaxed and focused in the process of holding it all together. It’s mostly a question of outlook. And each member has that in aces.If you have faith that everything will be alright,that is also oblivious in the music.

This ensemble belongs in every major concert hall, University workshop/ lecture and lets take it a step further….I think they could open for bands like Radiohead or Medeski Martin and Wood.They have what is needed to reach new audiences and create a vital energy flow,as they proved so convincingly last night.


Katie, Mark and Kathy are each the consummate musician who takes the music of the world and comes up with something unique. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to hear them live! It just goes to show that you can play creative intelligent music that reaches the masses, and also how happening the music is. This experience reinforced the concept that we all have to work on our music in earnest. That process is integral in forming a musical personality.

The CD should be out within a few months and I can’t wait to hear it. This is music as Duke Ellington refereed to as ” Beyond Category”.

Peace and goodwill to you all, Tim Price

8/22/2009: Threeds open for Amber Rubarth at Joe’s Pub

Opening the show was a trio called Threeds. I’ll come back to them later. For now, I want to mention that all three of them came back on stage to play with ambeR during her second number, and they were great (as was the song, and the arrangement that included Threeds!). For two other numbers, Katie Scheele of Threeds joined alone. They/she added a wonderful dimension to ambeR’s set.

Threeds opened the show, and played a varied 20-minute set. Threeds is three oboists, Kathy Halvorson, Mark Snyder and Katie Scheele. In addition to the oboe, Katie also played the English Horn. I was impressed by the breadth of styles they covered in such a short set, all extremely well done. They are very tight together, and their music delighted the crowd. It was an incredible treat to have them come back on stage with ambeR and have them add such richness to the otherwise rich sound that ambeR and her crew and guests produced!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: