Arts Council of Tamworth’s 43rd performance season gets off to a joyous, soul-stirring start with the new roots string band Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem on Saturday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth, NH.
What is a daisy mayhem, you may ask? Wicked grooves, sublime lead singing, great harmonies, sparkling original songs, and a deep repertoire that spans 200 years of American music. Four people who share an irresistible chemistry on stage. An unusually gleeful string band that celebrates both tradition and improvisation and that stumps the categorizers. Are they an agnostic gospel band? A homeopathic bluegrass band? Are they crazy? You will have to come decide for yourself.
As for their sound, start with a fiddle, a guitar, and a standup bass. Add a cardboard box with a suitcase bass drum and tin can cymbals, played by an ex-rock and zydeco drummer. Over that fine groove, hang Rani Arbo's expressive alto, seamless four-part harmonies, and a splash of banjo and ukulele, and you have it.
The Boston Globe describes their music as “neo old-timey with cosmopolitan splashes of contemporary pop and jazz.” It's an exuberant mix of musical idioms, held together by superb musicianship, impeccable taste, and the band's charismatic vocals. A stage show dips into country blues, vintage swing, modern songwriter fare, and Appalachian fiddle tunes and songs. This is a band that picks up what's lying around, "from tin cans to traditional music," and creates something new.
And if this all weren’t enough, there is Rani Arbo herself, the fiddler, lead singer, and founder of daisy mayhem. With a bewitching, expressive alto that is equal parts choir girl, flirty teenager, and world-weary woman, she navigates swing tunes, funky call-and-response songs, and ballads with unusual honesty and ease. Steeped in thirty years of choral singing, Arbo also spent years with a honky-tonk band, a Balkan rock band, and folk-bluegrass band Salamander Crossing. On stage, Arbo brings a rich life—as a 15-year veteran performer, breast cancer survivor, mother, and songwriter—into humble and compelling performances.
Tickets for this not-to-miss performance [will be on sale at the door tonight]. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students 13 to 18 and college students with a valid ID. New this year, as part of ACT’s goal of making the arts more accessible to families and children, kids 12 and under are free. A ticket reservation is still necessary, however, in order to guarantee a seat.
More ticket info here.
ACT’s performance season continues on Saturday, October 24 with beloved singer and songwriter Patty Larkin performing solo with an array of unusual instruments and her unforgettable voice. November brings the Two Man Gentlemen Band, blending comedy, hot jazz, vintage rhythm & blues, old-time country and Tin Pan Alley to entertain like proper old vaudevillians. Local bluegrass band Sweet Life Review will open. In January ACT presents an afternoon of New England-themed storytelling by the fire in the Great Room at Tin Mountain, with headliner Will Lange and members of the Mountain Storytellers Guild. February brings the exciting and multinational Boston String Quartet playing classical chamber music and arrangements of rock, jazz, world music and more. In March, when cabin fever has hit hard, strap on your dancing shoes and come out to a dance party at The Brass Heart Inn featuring the White Mountain Boys, just in from Nashville. ACT’s season concludes in May with the wickedly funny Austin Lounge Lizards. And stay tuned for news about ACT’s April Benefit Concert, featuring a very special performance…
Season tickets are available until September 26, both here and at the door the night of the show. A season ticket gives you guaranteed seats at all seven ACT performances (ACT Benefit Concert not included); at $120, the season ticket is also a 15 percent savings over buying tickets individually.
ACT’s September show is made possible through the generous support of sponsors BEAM Construction, P.C. Hoag & Company, and Profile Subaru, co-sponsors Chequers Villa, Cooper Cargill & Chant, Laconia Savings, and Surroundings Art Gallery, and media sponsors 93.5 WMWV and Magic 104FM and The Conway Daily Sun.