The Company formed in Brisbane in 2012, out of four musicians from far-flung places. Mick Patrick sings lead, plays mandolin and fiddle and is from Townsville, North Queensland. George Jackson plays fiddle and banjo and hails from Christchurch, New Zealand by way of Melbourne and Nashville, USA. Markus Karlsen plays bass and was born in Bodø, Norway. Jamie Clark plays guitar and is from Bundaberg, central Queensland. The Company plays bluegrass and new acoustic music, both vocal and instrumental.
The band has made three albums, The Company from 2012, Trouble from 2014 (mixed by US master fiddler Casey Driessen) and their new record recorded in Brisbane in December 2015 with noted engineer Dave Neil. All feature a powerful blend of the band’s picking prowess and heartfelt songs of time and place. There’s a strong sense of what it means to be playing this music in Australia, yet drawing on sounds that have origins in American traditional music.
The Company has toured extensively, playing festivals big and small and many venues in between. The band focuses on presenting their own songs and tunes, with a mix of bluegrass classics, old-time fiddling hoedowns, gospel harmonizing, and crisp picking blended with humour and warmth. For live sound the band uses one central microphone bluegrass-style, which picks up all voices and instruments (they help the banjo and guitar out a little with some small spot mics) so that the music is presented as acoustically and as much like the records as possible. Always seen in suits and ties, the Company none-the-less brings exciting and at times daringly experimental ideas to such a traditional look and sound.
On their new record, the Company explores themes of place, travel, movement and change with all the players bringing songs and tunes reflecting their recent journeys around Australia and the world, as well as many changes in their lives and careers.