I cannot imagine a better setting within which to hear the acoustic folk-pop and Appalachian melodies of the female duo that make up Alathea than in the intimate setting of a home. It's fusion music that they make; using traditional bluegrass instruments in a modern way, prinicipal singer/songwriter Mandee Radford and band mate Christi Johnson mix it up with guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and dulcimer, but never in a strictly traditional way. Add Mandee's clear-as-a-bell vocals and Christi's smoky harmonies, and the sound is infectious --- not slick but rootsy. Deep. That depth extends to the lyrics which are rooted in a spiritual perspective that is always pecolating underground. The title of their fourth album, My Roots Grow Deeper, about says it all. It's no wonder that one of the songs off that album, "Hurricane," was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
It was a great night of music with these women from the Tennessee foothills. They treated us to a host of original songs, a hillbilly medly that we could sing a long to, and a Christmas song --- a hint at what's to come in their upcoming Christmas CD. And who would have known that in addition to great music we would get comedy as well. Mandee's stories of being a subsitute teacher for a week were worth the price of admission! Our sold-out crowd of almost 70 people seemed to have a great time and stayed around talking over coffee and dessserts long after the music stopped. Those of you who really lingered were treated to one more song, a cover of Gillian's Welch's "Orphan Girl." (See. . . next time don't leave so soon!) We have to have these women back for a Christmas show, don't you think?
You can read more about Alathea, listen to music, and view them in concert here. Or simply watch them in concert here:
Check out a few pictures of our evening, like the one above, here. Stay tuned for details on upcoming concerts. And if you'd like to send me feedback about this concert (I'd love to have some) or tell me who you'd like to hear in the house in the future, email me.