McGraw spent a decade as a wildlife biologist, working everywhere from Mexico to the Grand Canyon. Fer logged some time in Spain, where she studied music and local culture. Together, the two songwriters have built a music career on those travels, funneling everything -- the characters they met, the things they saw, the sounds they heard, the stories they learned -- into a mix of rich, detailed folk music and rootsy Americana.
Pulling up stakes from their original home of Flagstaff, AZ, McGraw and Fer recently relocated to the San Juan Islands, where they spent the summer of 2012 living off the grid and playing some of the most prestigious festivals in the Pacific Northwest, including the Sisters Folk Festival and Doe Bay Fest. Now, armed with a strong sense of wanderlust and an equally strong debut album, the two are hitting the road all over again.
Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer’s fall tour will take them down the west coast, through the Rockies, across the Southwest, through the Bible Belt and up to the Midwest. Highlights include an Illinois show on the outskirts of Chicago, where the two recorded their acclaimed album, Seed of a Pine, in mid-2011, and a homecoming show in Flagstaff, where McGraw and Fer will beef up their intimate, harmony-laden sound with a full band.
Released in February 2012, Seed of a Pine (which includes guest work by singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey as well as Allison Russell of Po'Girl/Birds of Chicago)has received ecstatic reviews. “Together, they have crafted an album that positively brims with excellent songs, fine playing and exquisite vocals,” raved No Depression. “[McGraw and Fer] have a knack for capturing the passionate beauty of original contemporary folk music,” added The Americana Music Journal. Other musicians have become fans of the band’s music, too, leading to shared gigs with troubadours like Willy Porter, The Swell Season, Tony Furtado, and Jeffrey Foucault.