|Thursday 04 August 2016 @ 09:00pm : -
Anna & Elizabeth
Anna & Elizabeth began thanks to a broke down car - Elizabeth LaPrelle’s. In town to see a concert, Elizabeth, ended up spending the night with Anna Roberts-Gevalt, but the two didn’t get much sleep. They shared songs and harmonized; they talked about a shared desire to inspire people with the beautiful soul of Appalachian roots music. And then came Anna’s crankies: cloth and cut-paper scrolls depicting scenes from ballads. A friendship was formed. The possibilities were seen. A unique sound was created: Elizabeth with her powerful, breath-taking voice; Anna with her sweet harmonies and mesmerizing instrumentals on fiddle, banjo and guitar. They started making crankies and shadow puppets together. Unlike anything you’ve seen, works of art that have been heralded in folk festivals from Seattle to Chicago, from deep in the mountains of Kentucky to Uzbekistan. The pair is reviving a lost art.
Their show is a captivating mix of ballads, foot-stomping dance tunes, stories and visual art. It’s a throwback, honoring the cultural and musical heritage from the hollows and old-time musicians gone but not forgotten. Their performance is unique, unforgettable. They’ve performed in house parlors and art museums, theaters in Lexington and Brooklyn and Asheville, shows in New Orleans and Boston, always with a startling professionalism and intimacy.
Their music comes from a heartfelt commitment to the mountain music tradition. Anna & Elizabeth have immersed themselves with old (and young) masters and folklorists, playing on porches and in kitchens, staying up all night to learn just one more song. Each used college to dive deep into history and archives, reading folklore and stories, listening to scratchy records of haunting voices, learning from relatives of long-gone greats. Their music has evolved; raw, sparse ballads, sweet lullabies, driving fiddle tunes and banjo songs, home music where less is more. Elizabeth’s remarkable deep mountain voice and Anna's modern one, an uncanny blend create a unique combination.
Their simple goal: to play in small, local places – schools and community centers, small theaters and living rooms – where the audience can move up close. Wherever they go comes an almost astonished silence as they begin, thunderous applause as they end. Notable appearances: High Museum of Modern Art (Atlanta), The Swannanoa Old Time Gathering (Asheville), The Lexington Opera House (KY), The Jefferson Theater (VA), The Brooklyn Folk Festival, The Watermelon Park Festival (VA) and Sharq Taronolari (Uzbekistan).
ELIZABETH a native of Rural Retreat, Virginia, has won awards at fiddlers conventions for her powerful voice since she was 11. At age 16, she was the first recipient of the Henry Reed Award from the Library of Congress. She has recorded three solo albums, and her singing has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Prairie Home Companion. She has sung for audiences across the country, and has taught Appalachian ballads and unaccompanied singing at several music camps including The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes and The Augusta Heritage Center. At College of William and Mary, Elizabeth designed a major in Southern Appalachian Traditional Performance. In 2012, she won the Mike Seeger Award at Folk Alliance International. Elizabeth may be the most sought-after ballad singer of her generation.
"There's something truly inspiring about this collaboration between 25 year olds from southwest Virginia... and a very special treat for lovers of pure traditional singing and playing, afficionados of the great ballad, and anyone that gets excited witnessing culture carried forward with mastery, love and a profound and real understanding of what makes old material great." ~ SING OUT MAGAZINE
“They are at the heart of what we all call ‘traditional.’ I am so impressed with not only their talent, but also their commitment.” ~ GINNY HAWKER
“The voice hits you first. … LaPrelle’s shimmering resonance has been compared to that of Emmylou Harris, her ornamental trill to the church-influenced work of Ralph Stanley and Iris DeMent. … Roberts-Gevalt is an acclaimed musician in her own right … energetic and rangy.” ~ BETH MAC