Arts and Entertainment

Harmonious family plays at Steel Lake

By SONJA ZELLER

For the Mirror

The Summer Sounds at the Beach concert series has anaother opportunity for musical fun tonight with The Cutters.

This folk band specializing in an old-world Celtic and Appalachian folk mix will play at 7 p.m. at Steel Lake Park.

The Cutters’ unique style of modern classics also has a maritime feel, with the addition of 18th and early 19th century maritime pieces in their play list. The group threads these elements together with electric bass and vocals in four-part harmony.

The band not only includes one of its original founders, Phillip Morgan, but also his wife, Theresa, daughter Arwen and son Tyler.

Phillip Morgan’s Cutters began as a trio and have been playing under the name since the late 1980s. The Northwest band has toured through summer fairs since the early ’90s and has only recently found voice as a quartet.

Phillip and Teresa have performed in the band for 15 years. Until nine years ago, The Cutters was an adult trio. Arwen, now 16, joined the group approximately nine years ago, playing the fiddle. For six years now, the family has played as a quartet, with Tyler playing bass.

Arwen Morgan has been playing the fiddle since she was 5 years old. “She was on stage before we had the chance to ask if she wanted to join in,” Teresa Morgan said.

Arwen is studying at the Seattle Conservatory. She is working on perfecting her talents in music and dance, working toward a career in the performing arts.

Tyler Morgan, though not quite as comfortable on stage as his older sister, is a well-versed musician in his own right. He prefers playing backup as opposed to being lead vocals. He began his work with The Cutters as percussion and keyboard accompaniment.

Once the children are adults, the future is uncertain as to whether The Cutters will continue to play as a family group. It is the hope of their parents that Arwen and Tyler will continue playing with the band through college.

“After that, no one knows,” Teresa commented.

The Cutters are hoping to begin recording a fourth CD this fall (slated to be out next spring). The album is set to include the new harmonies, as well as the children for the first time.

Phillip Morgan started The Cutters 17 years ago. He and Teresa have recorded six albums. Three of the albums are with The Cutters; others are joint projects or works they have produced solo or with other bands.

Teresa writes original contemporary pieces along with assisting her husband with original pieces for The Cutters.

The Morgans have also assisted the band Victory At Sea in a maritime music album. They still play for Victory at Sea on a part-time basis.

Each member of The Cutters plays at least two instruments. For instance, Teresa plays guitar and dulcimer (traditional Irish drum), and Tyler plays bass and Irish whistle.

The Cutters are unable to play the popular pub scene, as Arwen and Tyler are still minors. The group, does however, keep a busy schedule during the summer fair season, has been a regular attraction at Bumbershoot and the Summer Folk Life Festival. In all, they play at least two shows per month in the summer season.

Sonja Zeller is a freelance writer.

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