Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feel the Lake Effect

by Doug MacRostie

The human voice can do a lot - from throat-singing to yodeling (I'm still waiting for the forward thinking performer who combines those...). Multiple voices combined take it even further - they can create a powerful wall of sound with intricacies and melodies that go from the lowest lows to dizzying highs. Lake Effect, a vocal jazz ensemble out of Duluth, have a released their first CD, "Live!" and we'll hear a conversation with lead vocalist Jenny Graupmann this Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN.

With her degree in vocal performance, Jenny is joined by up to 18 other voices on this CD. A project from the School of Fine Arts' Department of Music at UMD, "Live!" ranges from mystical soundscapes to pop-choruses, including a high flying medley of Michael Jackson tunes. Members of the ensemble are selected after highly competitive auditions in the fall of each year. The students are music majors and non-music majors of varying ages and musical backgrounds.

Speaking of interviews, I'll also be featuring many musicians who will be guests coming soon on Centerstage MN including Mark Olson, Keri Noble, Deb Harley and the Brothers Burn Mountain.

Mark Olson, founding member of The Jayhawks, new solo CD is called "Many Colored Kite" and it's an upbeat (compared to his last solo album, "Salvation Blues") neo-folk expansion of Olson's "desert country" style.

Keri Noble will be performing as part of the 6th Annual 91.7 KAXE Mississippi River Festival - she's an acoustic pop singer with confidence and a beautiful voice.

Deb Harley is new to me, her CD arrived at the station last week called "Flung Wide Open." It's her 4th CD overall, it's upbeat contemporary folk music with a twist of blues, country and swing.

The Brothers Burn Mountain are good friends of Centerstage MN (they've been on 5 or 6 times). They're new CD is called "Partly in the Blue, the White." It's another excellent album from BBM that takes their whimsically experimental style to new heights. The emotion and imagery in their music is truly something special.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at www.KAXE.org; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at www.KAXE.org. Centerstage MN is also heard on Pioneer 90.1 in Thief River Falls, Saturday nights at 11pm and on KFAI at 90.3 FM Minneapolis & 106.7 FM St. Paul Tuesday nights between 8 and 10pm.

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