THE term supergroup is believed to have been coined following the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash in the late 1960s.
But traditional music in the UK now has its own fusion of already established musical talents with the band Kan.
Combining one member of Lau, one from Flook – both previous winners of BBC Folk Awards – and two performers who have played in more bands than even they can remember, the quartet have been described as “A livewire of rhythm and melody”.
Kan is headed by fiddler Aidan O’Rourke, one-third of Lau, as well as a founding member of Blazin’ Fiddles.
A former Scots Trad Music Awards’ instrumentalist of the year, O’Rourke has appeared on more than 80 recordings and worked with jazz artist Andy Sheppard, Gaelic singer Alyth McCormack and singer/songwriter Eddi Reader.
Just as revered are the qualities of Irish flute and whistle player Brian Finnegan. The Armagh man started off in group Upstairs in a Tent before enjoying 13 years on the road with Flook.
After Flook took an extended break in 2008, Finnegan released his first solo work, The Ravishing Genius of Bones, to rave reviews, earning him a nomination for musician of the year in the 2011 BBC Folk Awards.
Yorkshire guitarist Ian Stephenson won a BBC Folk Award in 1999 with his band 442 and has since played across the world with the likes of Kathryn Tickell, Chris Stout, Jerry Holland, Liz Carroll and his own band Baltic Crossing.
Finally, Manchester drummer Jim Goodwin found his way into folk and acoustic music through his playing with the band Skidoo.
He is a regular session drummer and percussionist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and has toured with Flook and the Cora Smyth Band.
Kan released their debut album Sleeper earlier this year at Celtic Connections, the first fruits of the band’s intention to create what they call “a homogenous quartet of lead instruments”.
The album has Finnegan and O’Rourke’s Irish and Scottish traditions as well as embracing Breton dance and Asturian jigs.
It is also influenced by jazz pianist Nik Bärtsch, and Israeli bassist Avishai Cohen.
But each Kan member is a fan of his bandmates’ work.
When asked why he joined Kan, Stephenson said: “There are probably dozens upon dozens of grown men who grew up listening to Flook and Lau, harbouring dreams of being in a band with Brian or Aidan one day.
“Well that’s me now. I’m chuffed to bits.”
Kan played Cambridge Folk Festival in the summer, and alongside legendary Oldham indie outfit Inspiral Carpets at Ramsbottom Festival last weekend.
A date at Cork Folk Festival next month and a trip to Japan in February 2013 are also scheduled.
Kan play the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles tomorrow at 7.30pm –tickets priced at £14 and available from 01721 725777.