Music Quick Hits | March 2018
English folk trio The Staves recently dropped a digital-only EP of six songs recorded at local studio Pine Hollow as they kick off a tour of Australia and New Zealand. The collection is simply called Pine Hollow and consists of three covers (Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago,” Ray Lamontagne’s “Jolene,” and Dino Valenti’s “Something’s On Your Mind”) and new takes of three of the group’s original tracks from their album If I Was. The EP was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Zach Hanson out at April Base. You can stream the live EP on Apple Music and Spotify.
The Northern Wisconsin State Fair has finished announcing its lineup of music acts for this summer with some impressive names. The musical guests at the big fair in Chippewa Falls include Frankie Ballard (July 11), Chris Lane (July 12), country superstar Martina McBride (July 13), and legendary rock band Cheap Trick (July 14). The last time Cheap Trick performed at the NWSF was in 1987. For more information and tickets sales, check out www.nwsfa.com.
Eau Claire rock band Chamber Noise released a trippy new visual for their song “Til We Get It Right,” directed by Kyle Lehman and Chamber Noise member Justin Green. Looping images and mirrored video effects blend together like a kaleidoscope with moody lighting which matches the band’s psych-rock style perfectly. The video is out on YouTube as we speak. If you want to catch Chamber Noise live, the band will join Mauno and Fault Choir at a members-only show at Toy Car Studios on March 10.
A cool music event is on the books at the Heyde Center for the Arts at 7pm on March 16. La Banda Morsica is a group of passionate musicians who have founded or been involved in numerous adventures with some truly remarkable bands from the world music and traditional Spanish music circuits. Now they are fusing their original and creative view of a traditional repertoire of music with Oriental and Occidental influences from the south of the Mediterranean like Muwashahas, Chaabi, Dahmane el Harachi, and Nass el Ghiwane, and the mood of the traditional flamenco from Jerez and Andalusian rock such as Lole & Manuel, El Chozas, and Triana. La Banda Morisca brings together a mix of flamenco, Andalusian folk music, and the musical traditions of the three monotheistic religions to create a unique and exciting sound all its own. To pick up tickets, head to www.cvca.net
“I, Too, Sing America” is the theme of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s concert on Saturday, March 10, at 7:30pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Ave. The theme comes from the 1926 poem “I, Too” by African-American poet Langston Hughes. The orchestra will perform works by two African-American composers and an American woman: “From the Black Belt” by William Grant Still, “Lyric for Strings,” by George Walker, and “Quartet No. 1 of the Gaelic Symphony” by Amy Beach. Still – who, like Hughes, was part of the Harlem Renaissance – was the first African-American to have an opera performed by the New York City Opera and the first to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra. Walker was the first African-American to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and also the first to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music. Beach is recognized for being the first American woman to compose and publish a symphony. The orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Frank A. Watkins, will collaborate with The Master Singers, under the direction of Gary R. Schwartzhoff, on “Lux Aeterna” by Morten Lauridsen, who wrote the choral piece to console his grief the year his mother passed away. Music educator Wanda Miller will give a pre-concert talk at 6:45pm, and artwork by photographer Hope Greene will be on display. Tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $8 for students. They can be purchased in advance at eccochambermusic.org or at Neff’s Piano Shop, 510 Water St., or at the door the night of the concert. (Barbara Arnold)