The Pocahontas Coun-ty Opera House will welcome nationally touring traditional music duo Red Tail Ring to its stage Friday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. The Michigan-based band shares a raw blend of original compositions and interpretations of old ballads and dance tunes from Appalachia.
Tickets are $10. Youth 17 and younger are admitted free of charge.
Red Tail Ring has made haunting, close harmonies a centerpiece of their performances, which they support with a bed of intricate instrumentation on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, mandolin and guitar. Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo have traveled increasingly farther in their musical ramblings, playing shows throughout the Midwest, East Coast and Southeastern United States.
Working as stewards of the traditional music that they love, the duo performed and taught in Denmark in 2011, and took a 19-day tour of Germany in 2013. Red Tail Ring is part of the Earthwork Music Collective which houses many members of the vibrant Michigan music scene.
“We love pushing the boundaries of what a traditional song can be,” Beauchamp said. “It informs how we write our original songs. There’s a real energy exchange between the old and the new.”
Red Tail Ring’s recent project, a seven inch vinyl release with fellow Michiganders Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys titled “The New Roots Exchange Vol. I” (Earthwork Music, 2014), honors this two-way connection from its recording process to the song selection. Recorded in one take around two microphones – a recording and performance style harkening back to the early 20th century – the collection features traded solos and rich harmonies on traditional songs.
Red Tail Ring’s third full-length album, “The Heart’s Swift Foot” (Earthwork Music, 2013), was met with glowing reviews from Americana and roots music authorities.
No Depression writes “new music from Red Tail Ring is gorgeous,” and The UTNE Reader describes the album as containing “fierce, masterful fingerpicking and poignant lyrical narratives.” In addition to being featured on American Songwriter Magazine.com, The Heart’s Swift Foot reached #6 on the FOLKDJ chart for June 2013.
Advance tickets are available at pocahontasopera house.org and at the 4th Avenue Gallery in Marlinton. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the concert.
Performances at the Opera House are informal, family-friendly and open to all. The entrance and main seating are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend; special accommodations can be arranged upon request by calling 304-799-6645.
The Opera House Performance Series is presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Support is also provided by Pocahontas County Dramas, Fairs and Festivals and the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.