Back by popular demand! When Arts Council of Tamworth presented Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at The Barnstormers several years back, many people told us it was our best concert ever. ACT is delighted to bring the band the Boston Globe calls “playful and profound” back to play for you again on Friday, May 31 at 7:30 PM at The Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth, NH! Band members will be in town for a two-day residency in school and community that will include a Thursday evening workshop/song circle and a Friday afternoon family concert. The residency will culminate in a thrilling Friday evening performance that will have you laughing with joy, shivering with delight, and weeping at the beauty of their vocal harmonies. The evening will also include a silent auction, beginning at 6:30 PM, of one-of-a-kind art pieces and useful and/or delicious things. Auction donors include Canoe Restaurant, Castle in the Clouds, Hart’s Turkey Farm, artist David McPhail, New Hampshire Mushroom Company and North Country Fair Jewelers. Tickets for the Friday evening performance are on sale now on the 2012-2013 Events page. Choose Your Own Ticket Price, $5 to $30+ for adults, $0 to $5+ for kids to 18. Ticket revenues help support our community artist residencies and work in the schools.
The public is also invited to join Scott Kessel, Andrew Kinsey and Anand Nayak at the Tamworth Lyceum on Thursday evening, May 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for “American Rhythms, Recycled Rhythms,” a workshop and song circle for musicians of all skill levels and community members of all ages. Bring your instrument, if you play one, come sing, or just listen in. Workshop is free; donations welcome.
And on Friday, May 31 at 2:00 PM, at the Brett School in Tamworth, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will offer “Ranky-Tanky” a family performance and recycled rhythm demonstration. Homeschoolers, students from other schools, and the public is welcome: if you plan to bring a large group please let the school know in advance, 323-7271.
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem are a steadily deepening, 12-year brew of band chemistry, life experience and musical evolution. What sets this band apart is their connection — to each other, to the audience, and to the music. Simultaneously loose and tight, their playing is exciting, cathartic, and fun to watch.
On stage, they are Rani Arbo (fiddle, guitar), Andrew Kinsey (bass, banjo, uke), Anand Nayak (electric and acoustic guitars) and Scott Kessel (percussion). Kessel’s percussion rig is 95% recycled, featuring a cardboard box, tin cans, caulk tubes, and a vinyl suitcase in lieu of a bass drum. All the band members sing, and their four-part harmonies soar, whether on a haunting Appalachian ballad, a Springsteen rocker, or a Bahamian a capella song. Many of their songs plumb the human condition, with topics ranging from joy to death (a favorite), loss, aging, blackbirds and red-haired boys. The band has jokingly dubbed itself an “agnostic gospel” revival show, but there’s truth in it; the refrain they hear time and again from audiences all over the country is that their performances really do heal.
Musically, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem reuse and recycle (but try hard not to reduce) 150 years of American music. They hang a Georgia Sea Islands song on a New Orleans groove. They write lyrics for an Irish fiddle tune and underpin it with an Afro-Cuban cajon. Leonard Cohen gets clawhammer banjo; Springsteen gets bluegrass harmonies. Their originals range from blues, to bluegrass, to Unitarian funk gospel, to crooner swing, to spooky folk-pop. Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem celebrates America’s past and takes it into the present. Of their signature style, Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Review wrote, “It’s as hard to classify as it is to praise highly enough…an intoxicating blend of roots music styles, with deep traditional roots and a healthy futuristic outlook. Strongly recommended.”
The Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem residency is sponsored by Addison Mason Builders, BEAM Construction Associates, Inc., Chocorua Camping Village, Hidden Automotive, Paul L. King Land Surveying & Civil Engineering, North Country Fair Jewelers, Yankee Smokehouse, and is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies, and with support from the K. A. Brett School, the Tamworth PTA, and the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts.