Chris Brubeck + Peter Madcat Ruth + Joel Brown
"Triple Play" is the name given to three outstanding and versatile musicians, Peter Madcat Ruth (on harmonica, jaw harp, percussion, and vocals), Joel Brown (folk and classical acoustic guitars and vocals) and Chris Brubeck (electric bass, bass trombone, piano and vocals). Collectively they bring a rare level of joy, virtuosity, and American spirit to the folk, blues, jazz, funk, and classical music they perform.
Triple Play LIVE CD
In February, 2000, Chris, Joel, & Madcat recorded a live CD at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Triple Play LIVE is now available for purchase through this website. There are several new compositions on this CD including "Now That the Children Are Gone", and "The Road to Thomasville", together with such classics as "How Long?", "Crossroads", "Take Five", "Unsquare Dance", and "Blue Rondo a la Turk".
The Origins of Triple Play:
Although Triple Play is a relatively new group, its musical roots go back over 30 years. Chris and Madcat have toured and recorded together in different settings since 1969, first as young rock musicians in the group "New Heavenly Blue" (with albums on RCA and Atlantic Records), "Sky King" (on Columbia), and then as jazz musicians touring the world with Dave Brubeck. Madcat and Chris were audience favorites wherever the group played and were featured on three Atlantic Records released by Dave Brubeck.
Chris went on to become co-leader of the group Crofut & Brubeck with the uniquely talented banjo player and folk singer Bill Crofut. This group also featured Joel on guitar and recorded 2 CDs with Albany Records, "Unsquare Dance" (1991) and "Red, White & Blues" (1992), which also featured Madcat on harmonica. A highly unusual and critically acclaimed CD, "Across Your Dreams", featuring famous mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, was released by Telarc in 1995.
For their next project, Bill, Chris & Joel flew to England and recorded an astonishing CD at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra. The resulting CD, Bach to Brubeck, was released earlier this year on Koch International Classics. This recording includes a Bach Prelude for Guitar and Orchestra, featuring Joel as soloist; and Chris' composition, "Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra" with Chris handling the solo work. This adventurous recording showcases the group's versatility, their "Pops Concert" achievements (having been guest performers with dozens of orchestras across the U.S. including The Boston Pops, Houston and Pittsburgh Symphonies) and Chris' orchestral arranging skills. The music swings and soars, spanning Bach to Joplin, and the Blues to Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk".
In 1998, tragedy struck when Bill Crofut was diagnosed with cancer. No longer able to perform, Bill, Chris & Joel decided that Madcat should fill in for Bill and play the college and Orchestral concerts that had been contracted far in advance. The concerts with Madcat, who is one of the acknowledged masters of the harmonica, were a tremendous success. Bill Crofut, who had carved out a unique musical legacy which combined folk, jazz, classical and blues elements, passed away in January of 1999 at the age of 63. The group Triple Play expands upon that eclectic and exciting musical tradition.