Hearth & Hymn Drops Debut Album and Kicks Off CD Release Tour This Weekend
Happy holiday season y’all. Old Man winter is upon us, at least up in Michigan he is. I’ve been busy in the Double Phelix Studio trading between working on Andy Catlin’s "Golden Lasso" album, doing overdubs and mixing for our upcoming Hearth & Hymn album, and recording an original tune that I’m going to release as a single this winter called, “The Days They Wane”. Check out this video clip of Andy laying down some organ for a preview. Watch till the end and see Andy’s reaction to some guys doing repair work on the roof that day.
This Thursday December 5, I’m helping to put on a benefit for Follow The Buffalo, a local organization that gives aid to the Lakota nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Check out the event here.
Andy Catlin is also hosting the first ever Double Phelix Winter Gala on December 6 and 7, held inside the studio in Kalamazoo. I look forward to playing there, along with some other local musicians who make up the Double Phelix Collective. I’ve been really enjoying doing studio work with Andy. Here we are with matching hoodies, and overall color schemes it seems:
On December 7, I’ll also be teaching an afternoon “Songshop” at Miss Muse, which is a monthly event that invites songwriters of all levels to learn a song written by the guest teacher. The songshop runs from 10 am to 2 pm this Saturday in Kalamazoo. I’ll be teaching my tune “The Days They Wane”, giving a talk and facilitating some fun activities. If you’re interested in coming to the songshop, please see this event or contact Paul Janson at email@example.com.
FYI: I’d come for the lunch alone! Lots of good cooks around this house where I'm currently living!
Other December ventures include some after-school music programming with SEEDS and Earthwork in Traverse City, and taking part in a collective winter concert at the Circuit in Traverse City on December 13. (And skiing!) After that, I’ll be gearing up for our winter Hearth & Hymn tour! We are still filling in some dates, but please go here to check out our band page and tour details. Here is an excerpt about our project from our band page: “On December 15th, 2013, Earthwork musicians Elisabeth Pixley-Fink and Samantha Cooper release the first in their new album series, Hearth & Hymn. The Kalamazoo-based close-harmony singing duo created Hearth & Hymn as a setting to interpret old songs. This project is also an avenue to showcase original verses & pieces inspired by hymns and the sacred harp tradition.”
Here is a link to me and Elisabeth singing the song "Sonny" duo style. The video was edited from Pat's wake by our friend from the Back To Your Senses video series, Andrea Claire-Maio.
Initial Tour Dates (more to follow!)
Saturday, December 21 First Congregational Church, 345 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI, Showtime: 7 to 9 pm. Dessert potluck to follow! Website: http://www.kazoofcc.org/
Sunday, December 22 House Show at the Birdhouse, 622 Benjamin, Grand Rapids, MI, Potluck at 6 pm, Showtime: 7 pm
December 26 or 27 (unconfirmed but likely!) Webster Church, Dexter, MI, Address listed once confirmed, Showtime: 6 to 8 pm
Sunday, December 29 Sola Gratia Music Series, 19631 Maple St., Lake Ann, MI. Showtime: 7 pm. Website: http://solagratiaproductions.org/
Monday, December 30 Northern Naturals Winery, 324 E. Front St.Traverse City, MI. Showtime: 6 to 8 pm. Website: http://www.northernnaturalwinery.com/11/where-to-find-our-products
More shows TBD, stay tuned!
Next to my October ISLAND Residency, playing and experiencing the Lamplight Festival this year in Grand Rapids was my highlight of the season. Lamplight is a festival of arts & culture in it’s second year, housed in five beautiful homes, complete with outdoor costuming that you can see pictured here! I had a great band that worked hard to pull together a set of my music, including Fiona Dickinson on cello, Joe Lucas on bass, and Adrian O’barr on guitar, along with myself. I also called in Jackie and Ashley from The Soil & The Sun band to help me do an a capella tune of mine called "Unafraid".
Right after Lamplight, I started gearing up for the Earthwork Music Michigan tour, which was really uplifting. It was fun to sit in with other musicians I don’t typically play with, and a real honor to have some Earthworkers back me up. Having a professional bluegrass band at the caliber of Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellies backing your fiddle tune is a real thrill too. (Here’s a video of it: Witchin' In The Kitchin). A top notch choir of Earthwork women live looping your song is quite lovely too. (Video to come, I hope.) I think my favorite thing about Earthwork musicians is their tendency to be silly, theatrical and tell a good story. There was so much laughter and clowning around.
If you’re curious, here’s an article with an overview of our tour. Also, here’s a brief write up my friend Mark did. The picture below was taken by Janine Andrew at Milliken Auditorium in Traverse City.
The picture below is of my string band BOWHUNTER. It was taken by Steven Holmes of Mostly Midwest during the Earthwork Harvest Gathering this fall. This photo was also used in the aforementioned article.
During the Earthwork tour, we tended to sing Pat’s tune “Glow In The Dark” to open each show, walking up from the back of the room. When we began singing at the back of the First Congregational Church (the FCC) in Kalamazoo, I nearly lost my balance because the sound in the church was so incredible. Each voice was rich with reverb, and the instruments really sang. It was a real honor to get to play there, and I can’t wait to experience the new concert series taking shape at the church.
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