Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Painting With Her Voice: Connie Evingson

by Doug MacRostie

You know that saying, "It's not WHAT you said, it's HOW you said it!"? The same thing applies to singing; it's not what you sing, it's how you sing it. Tone, fluctuation, breathing; all of it can change the mood of a lyric. Minneapolis Jazz-vocalist Connie Evingson continues to put that extra something into her voice - giving the lyrics life, meaning and definitely setting the mood. "I've often wished I could be a painter, because I would really like to be able to create visual art. And singing for me is kind of like painting in the sense that you are using texture, you're using color, in a way. Color in the vocal tone - it's an expression."

Connie will be my guest this week on Centerstage MN. Originally from Hibbing, her latest album is music of jazz legend, and St. Paul native, Dave Frishberg called "Little Did I Dream." Not only did Dave Frishberg write the music, but he also accompanies on piano. From some seriously upbeat swing to slow and moving ballads, this album flows through the full range of emotion and presentation with Connie's beautiful voice leading the way. There is a reason her 8 albums with Minnehaha have charted in the top 50 in both the U.S. and Canada.

Connie Evingson will be joining the Sam Miltich Quartet on Thursday, Nov. 4th for a benefit concert for Advocates for Family Peace starting at 7pm at Davies Theater, ICC.

Last weekend I got to see The Sunny Era perform in Bemidji and really enjoyed their music - it's creative, edgy, beautiful and unpredictable all at once. They are a 3 piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble fusing folk music, indie rock, middle eastern and Spanish styles, based in Minneapolis. We'll hear the intro cut to their 2nd CD "The Darkness of Love," which came out last year.

I've also got new music from The Marc Gartband (Marc Gartman is the founder of Two Many Banjos, the Gartband is his music when he isn't playing a banjo). Discovering the Irish Bouzouki a few years back has clearly been inspiring for Marc, all the songs for "Fatwa" were written on the bouzouki. It's excellent stuff as usual.

And we'll hear some new music from Wise-Magraw - the duo project with Dean Magraw on guitar and Marcus Wise on tabla. And new music from indie-acoustic artist Ellis out of Minneapolis, her new CD is called "Right on Time." And more!

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; 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 Centerstage MN is also heard on KSRQ in Thief River Falls Saturday nights at 10, and on WTIP in Grand Marais Thursdays at 4pm. Sometimes heard on KFAI in Minneapolis & St. Paul. Often featured on

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