Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pop shows a rousing success!

The chilly weather may not be gone from Minnesota evenings yet, but the air was afire during our sellout weekend of pop shows/recording dates at the Southern Theater. Joined by percussionist extraordinaire Dave Hagedorn, multi-instrumentalist/composer Lee Blaske, and longtime recording engineer and editor-in-chief of Stereophile Magazine John Atkinson, Cantus presented its first-ever all-pop concerts. True to most Cantus shows, we threw lots of interesting sounds into the mix of vocal harmonies, including mandolin, accordion, spoons, washboard, latin percussion, acoustic guitar, bowed and mallet struck vibraphone, glockenspiel, and bass guitar. The songs ranged from classics by the Beach Boys, Curtis Mayfield, and Roy Orbison to dance and avant-pop songs by Deeelite and Bjork, and most everything in between. Tim's new arrangement of the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah received a great reception, as did our Aretha Franklin-inspired arrangement of Eleanor Rigby and faux-bluegrass imagining of the White Stripes' Got Her in Your Pocket.

We received a solid review (available here), and sang to packed houses all three nights of the run. Thanks to Luther College's alumni association for hosting an opening night reception at the next-door Town Hall Brewery after the show--guess it pays that we now have a Luther grad (Eric Hopkins) in the group.

We flew immediately the next morning (don't ask how early, please :( ) to Norfolk to sing that evening, kicking off a four-day engagement at the Virginia Arts Festival. We taught at two high schools, and sang in two more venues over the next three days, but also managed to get back to Colonial Williamsburg (we were just there at Xmastime with the Boston Pops) and Jamestown Settlement before our show in Williamsburg on our last night there.

Next time: Trio Mediaeval and our return to Washington DC!

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