Saturday, June 23, 2012

Neo-Folk Romantique

It's June, the month of wine and roses, and I am listening to Sharon Knight play on her album Neofolk Romantique. A folk musician, cultural creative, and super cool redhead, Sharon's voice is the perfect accompaniment to a cloudy Saturday in Minnesota. Last night I saw her in concert with her talented guitarist and colaborator Winter. It was a rare treat and a feast for this folk music lover's soul. I had only heard a song or two by her before, but I knew I wanted to experience this minstrel live. Clearly, I was not disappointed. Her flaming red hair, her leather corset, her octave mandolin...yes, this is inspiration bold and beautiful. Her voice tells tales in a clear alto that lifts on fairy wings into a delicate soprano, making magic of the words. Whether she was playing traditional tunes or her own passionate and mystical songs, I was entranced by the magic she brings. Somehow she brings the line between old town pub and fairy forest together, in such a way that at the end of the night I felt like I had been in both.

Watching Sharon play her octave mandolin made me want to play my own instruments even more, and maybe take up the octave mando as well! Now I read on her website that she's a fan of Finnish Metal music, and that was definitely music to the ears of this Kantele playing zither enthusiast! While I'm not a huge fan of metal, the Finnish stuff definitely has that special vibe that has more in common with folk music than rock music. Sharon is a wonderful, friendly person as well, and this is her day job. So if you are reading this, you should definitely check out her website. Hard to describe, but her own bio sums it up pretty nicely:

Although her musical foundations are solidly built on her Celtic heritage, Sharon has never been one to hold fast to tradition, preferring instead to look to her roots for inspiration and then chart her own path.

That path often sounds less Celtic and more “Folktales that ran away with the Faeries at the turn of the century and took cover in an old trunk bound for the circus, which was then commandeered by pirates.” She likes it this way.

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