Music from the homelands of America

  • Sat Jan 31st, 2009 2:10am
  • Life
Above: vocalist Danny Schmidt and his acoustic guitar. Right: Signage on a summer day for sizzling sounds

Above: vocalist Danny Schmidt and his acoustic guitar. Right: Signage on a summer day for sizzling sounds

Now in its third season, Home on the Grange is a brew of bluesy music and vocal crooning that can thrum the heart strings of any islander.

Sue Dumond, the coordinator of the series, is pleased to have had great support from musicians and islanders alike. Over the three years that the Home on the Grange series has existed, the artists who have shared their music have commented positively on how refreshing it is to perform inside the Lopez Grange, where the concerts are held.

“They feel the generations that have passed through these Grange walls, and that’s a powerful thing,” said Dumond.

To kick off the series this year, Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen will play on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The duo, who have worked together for many years, features Kallet, a singer, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Larsen is one of America’s finest players of the Irish flute and tin whistle, as well as an accomplished singer and concertina, fiddle, piano and harmonium player.

The Home on the Grange series is non-profit, and admission for concerts is $10. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.

Also on the roster this year is Taarka, a merry band of modern gypsies, who spread revolutionary, ancient sounds via their four piece ensemble of violin, mandolin, cello, and upright bass. They are scheduled to perform on April 10. Alice Di Micele, who performed last year, will make another highly anticipated visit on May 31, bringing her rootsy and expansive vocal range to the Grange’s halls. Seattle’s Jim Page, who Dumond calls a “lyrical genius with the guitar,” will play on June 28.

“I have a very strong, dedicated following here on the island. I have folks who come to every show because they trust my musical taste. I have a lot more people pitching in now to help. The first couple of shows I was left taking care of it all, but that has changed, and I am very grateful. It helps me focus more on the music.”

Esther Golton, who has played in the Grange series, said of her experience, “I’ve always loved the kind of show where friends gather in a woody old place, and the laughter of greetings stills to a reverent hush as the music begins, and then some sort of lovely spell gets cast as the magic of melodies and stories rolls back and forth from performer to audience to performer in an invisible upwards spiral … that’s what it felt like to play in that Grange Hall with Lopez Islanders for an audience. Being a part of the Home on the Grange concert series was, and is, a gift.”

Dumond says there has been some confusion about the live music shows and her weekly radio program.

“Home on the Grange is a series of live concerts that we have about once a month featuring nationally recognized musicians who are primarily acoustic-based. The concerts are intimate performances that take place at the Lopez Grange. The KLOI program that I do, called Gleanings, is a radio program that features some of the work of artists who have performed at the Grange.”

To read more about upcoming artists, go to www.homeonthegrange.com.