TITLE: SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION

ARTIST: WILDFIRE

LABEL: ISM 1001 (INSULLSCHER MUSIC)

RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER, 2014

By Michael Baird

SPONT COM COVER smUsing a second-by-second countdown, a rocket launch at NASA builds anticipation and excitement; Imagine holding this level of excitement but now change the scale from seconds to years, and rockets to traditional music.

TEN. Richard Scher and Bonnie Insull, the principal members of Wildfire, have been at the heart of the Folk Dance Music scene in LA for many years.

NINE. For almost as long, the fans and followers of the two and their band Bonfire, which also includes Frank Hoppe on fiddle, have eagerly awaited a CD release.

EIGHT. It never came.

SEVEN-SIX. Bonfire continued to delight dancers in SoCal and beyond.

FIVE. These artists know what dancers are looking for.

FOUR. And the dancers love them; Bonfire and its members are in high demand for live gigs.

THREE. Seeking to expand creatively, Insull and Scher slowly started to pull together a recording project with a new and different direction.

TWO. They enlisted Shira Kammen, renowned violinist from the Bay area.

ONE. Wildfire ignited their driving sound by adding the masterful folk guitar work by Dave Bartley from Seattle, soulful riffs by LA trombonist Jerry Wheeler.

BonRichGoofinCrop3BOOM! With the release of Spontaneous Combustion, Scher and Insull’s long-awaited explosion of creative energy has finally been realized. The arrangements are brilliant, yet not overdone. These are folk tunes set ablaze with strong influences of jazz, Eastern- European, and Chinese music that flow together in delightful ways. Viennese style waltz is followed by a tango and then an English Country slip jig, pleasing the dancers among us.

There's at least one circumnavigation of the globe in this record. Guest artists Paul Butler on clarinet and R.T. Taylor on hurdy gurdy add jazz and folk influences respectively. As a dancer, I love this recording. Insull and Scher's creative talent has at long last taken off in recorded form, and the result is stellar. This release was well worth the wait.