Emma Hill and Bryan Daste
Old School Bards on the Road to Glory
By Aaron Binder
Photos/Video by Erin Burrell
Emma Hill started practicing her craft in Alaska, hitting every small town roads could reach. She’s still young but started at an age when most are considering their college career. After beginning to hone her craft in Alaska, she traveled to Portland, Oregon and set into expanding her skills. After meeting pedal-guitarist Bryan Daste her journey gained a musical companion. Far from home she continued working her craft until Alaska began pulling her homeward.
It was this part of the journey that, for most, would be the most difficult. Leaving a writing partner 2,500 miles behind is usually ground for dissolution, at least before the internet. Daste and Hill continued their musical partnership by bouncing song ideas back and forth and recording individual parts until meeting back in Portland to record The Black and Wretched Blue. You can feel the talent oozing out of the song compositions, hear it in Daste’s soulful guitar work and drown yourself in Emma’s raspy, inebriating voice.
The two stopped in Toronto during their Spring 2013 tour and I had the chance to speak with them in a dark, loud room.
These two will never be The Rolling Stones but if they’re coming through your town, and it’s a good bet they are, you can find them playing a kitchen, a small bar, or anywhere else two people and guitars can fit. They play a type of concert you don’t often find anywhere else, intimate yet powerful, private in a room full of people. Hill and Daste are wanderers so it’s impossible to tell where they’ll pop up next. If, by good chance, you do find yourself in their company, don’t miss the opportunity to listen to the Sleetmute Sweetheart and the Magic Pedal.