“Wrapped in original songs whose styles range from old timey to jazzy to blistering alt rock, Laurie's voice turns from cold steel to melted butter in the time it takes your heart to break."
~Don Dixon, key producer of the jangle pop movement
On Saturday, February 2, 2013, Akron-based band Hey Mavis celebrated the much-anticipated release of their second CD, Honey Man, with a sold-out concert at Happy Days Lodge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The music of Hey Mavis can only be described as “Appalachian Americana”. With banjo, fiddle, upright bass, guitar, kick drum and harmonica, the quartet effortlessly moves from a softly orchestrated lullaby to a raw and raucous love song.
After their most recent summer tour out west, during which Hey Mavis achieved notoriety as a finalist in the highly acclaimed Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, Laurie (banjo/vocals/songwriting) and Ed Caner (fiddle/viola) started working with Cleveland songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Brent Kirby and seasoned upright bassist, Bryan Thomas.
Set to an instrumentation and impression of timeless Appalachian backwoods, the songs on Honey Man focus in on the beautiful imagery of life, the joy and labor of raising children, and the timeless themes of love and heartbreak. In the title track “Honey Man”, Laurie intimately leads the listener through a Faustian “owe my soul to the devil” tale, while in “Say Hello to Paris” she sings about feeling strapped down by the responsibility of motherhood, only to realize all the beauty of the world lies in the children dancing ‘round her feet. Kirby’s “Let The Water Do the Work” has an upbeat revivalist message of “release and find your peace”. The songs on Honey Man seem to lead us on a journey through the complex emotions of adult life, where one can only end up where they began, in a place where the simplicity of love always wins.
Honey Man is produced by the legendary Don Dixon (REM, Red Clay Ramblers, Smithereens), who also produced their first CD. Red Wine. Red Wine immediately climbed the national Folk DJ-L radio charts, peaking at #5 for overall artist while the songs "Red Light" and "Red Wine" peaked at #5 and #9. The CD finished the year at #12 in Folk Alley’s "Top CD's of 2010" alongside new releases by Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Chieftains, and Bob Dylan.
Hey Mavis has had the privilege of headlining and performing at venues such as:
Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Telluride, CO)
Lock 3 (Akron, OH)
The Historic Taos Inn (Taos, NM)
Cain Park (Cleveland, OH)
Lancaster Music Festival (Lancaster, OH)
Jefferson Barracks (St. Louis, MO)
Myer's Memorial Bandshell (Ashland, OH)
Paw Paw Festival (Athens, OH)
Hoover Auditorium and Pavilion (Lakeside, OH)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park House Concert Series
Mill Creek Concert Series (Youngstown, OH)
Human Rights Coalition Annual Gala (Cleveland, OH)
First Night Akron (Akron, OH)
Akron Firestone Auditorium w/ the Firestone H.S. Orchestra (Akron, OH)
Howler's Cafe (Pittsburgh, PA)
Brookstock (Cleveland, OH)
Hey Mavis has been honored to perform as opening act for:
Arlo Guthrie, Lock 3 (Akron, OH)
Yonder Mountain String Band, LC Pavilion (Columbus, OH)
Michael Stanley and The Boys From the County Hell at The House of Blues (Cleveland, OH)
Missy Raines and the New Hip, The Kent Stage (Kent, OH)
The Fabulous String Dusters, The Beachland Ballroom (Cleveland, OH)
"Hey Mavis scores where it matters — in songwriting and execution. Laurie brings sharp songwriting skills and sultry vocals to the table, while Ed contributes his schooled musical abilities and range of experience. Expanding the core trio with guitarist Brent Kirby and Bryan Thomas on upright bass has given Honey Man some added kick and a greater range of tonal colors. "
--Anastasia Pantsios, Cool Cleveland
"The first thing that struck me about HEY MAVIS was the quality of the writing...I wondered where these songs had come from...when I found out they were written by TOOTSIE (Laurie Michelle Caner) I was eager to find out as much as I could about her, see what else she had lurking in her mind...
"Hey Mavis evokes the best elements for what draws (people) to traditional music but in a fully modern context, devoid of hokey recidivism." Really wonderful."
--Texas music icon Mark Rubin
Laurie Michelle Caner (AKA Tootsie) - Banjo, Vocals, Songwriter
Eddie Caner - Fiddle, Viola Profunda
Bryan Thomas - Upright Bass
Brent Kirby - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Kick Drum
Red Wine (produced by Don Dixon, June 2010 release)
Michael Stanley's 2009 Christmas CD "Tis the Season" (Line Level), produced by the legendary Bill Szymszyk (Eagles, BB King, Joe Walsh)
Releases by individual band members:
The Rhondas Live at the Akron Art Museum, 2009 (Laurie)
Fiddling for Classical Kids, Lorenz Music, 2007 (Ed)
Fiddling for Classical Stiffs, Lorenz/Latham Music, 2002 (Ed)
Throckmorton "Peacemeal" (produced by Patrick Keel), 1995 (Ed)
Folk Alley Listener Poll- Top CD's of 2010
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The results are in! 2010 was another amazingly rich year in the folk and roots music world, with so...The results are in! 2010 was another amazingly rich year in the folk and roots music world, with some of the best new music released in any genre.
Over a two week period, we asked Folk Alley listeners to vote for up to 10 of their favorite 2010 releases that we featured this past year.
Below are the top 25 results of our Folk Alley Top CDs of 2010 Listener Poll!
Artist Name Label
1 Carolina Chocolate Drops Genuine Negro Jig Nonesuch
2 Crooked Still Some Strange Country Signature Sounds
3 Patty Griffin Downtown Church Credential
4 Natalie Merchant Leave Your Sleep Nonesuch
5 Gilkyson, Gorka & Kaplansky Red Horse Red House Records
6 Mumford & Sons Sigh No More Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC
7 Andrew & Noah Van Norstrand All The Good Summers Great Bear
8 Lonesome River Band Still Learning Rural Rhythm
9 Mary Chapin Carpenter The Age of Miracles ZOE Records
10 The Honey Dewdrops These Old Roots self
11 Tim O'Brien Chicken & Egg Howdy Skies
12 Hey Mavis Red Wine Stellada
13 Justin Townes Earle Harlem River Blues Bloodshot records
14 Jakob Dylan Women and Country Columbia
15 Amelia Curran Hunter Hunter Six Shooter Records
16 Joy Kills Sorrow Darkness Sure Becomes This City Signature Sounds
17 Karan Casey & John Doyle Exiles Return Compass
18 The Infamous Stringdusters Things That Fly Sugar Hill
19 Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band Legacy Compass
20 The Chieftains featuring Ry Cooder San Patricio Hear Music
21 Darrell Scott A Crooked Road Full Light Records
22 Bob Dylan The Witmark Demos 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9) Sampler Columbia/Legacy
23 The Weepies Be My Thrill Nettwerk
24 Ashley Wells Mama's Skirt unsigned
25 Mary Gauthier The Foundling Razor & Tie
CoolCleveland Review: Honey Man by Hey Mavis
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Hey Mavis is on their way. Laurie Michelle Caner cut her performing teeth with rootsy Akron-based tr...Hey Mavis is on their way. Laurie Michelle Caner cut her performing teeth with rootsy Akron-based trio the Rhondas, whose all-star-after-the-fact lineup also included Shivering Timbers’ Sarah Benn and Jen Maurer of Mo’Mojo. Ed Caner’s violin has wended an eventful journey through 20 years of the northeast Ohio music scene. He rose to prominence with folk-rockers the Walk-Ins in the early ’90s, moved briefly to Austin, made some noise with experimental instrumental trio Throckmorton, and freelanced with orchestras, touring artists, and various local ensembles, performers and projects.
The duo came together as Hey Mavis around five years ago, and as husband and wife shortly after that. The pairing resulted in a recent three-year stint as artists in residence at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where they honed Hey Mavis. That’s where they’ll be celebrating the release of their second CD Honey Man, the follow-up to 2010’s Red Wine, on Sat 2/2 at 8PM.
Hey Mavis’s music is easy to slip into a genre slot. It’s Americana (or “roots rock”) — that now-ubiquitous style that layers backwoods twang and a downhome vibe over rock rhythms. If they’re not breaking new ground, Hey Mavis scores where it matters — in songwriting and execution. Laurie brings sharp songwriting skills and sultry vocals to the table, while Ed contributes his schooled musical abilities and range of experience. Expanding the core trio with guitarist Brent Kirby and Bryan Thomas on upright bass has given Honey Man some added kick and a greater range of tonal colors.
The band refers to its music as “Appalachian Americana,” but the “Appalachian” part is mostly flavoring on Honey Man. The “get-thee-gone-cheater”-themed “Little Lovebird,” for instance, could easily slip in with the repertoire of many folk-based contemporary singer-songwriters, save for Laurie’s background banjo. Honey Man’s 11 tunes are too musically diverse and lyrically sophisticated to qualify as old-time mountain music, and Laurie’s supple, nuanced vocals lack the flat, pinched “high lonesome” country sound.
That’s all for the better. Honey Man is a well-paced work that plays pensive songs like “Song for Suitors” and “By Your Side (Strength and Sword)” off against the aggressively rocking “Already Down,” featuring Kirby on lead vocal, the yee-ha sexiness of “Red Hot,” and the jazzy title track with Ed’s seductive viola underscoring Laurie’s sinuous vocal. And Laurie and Brent create a luscious vocal blend on Brent’s gentle and generous “Let the Water Do the Work.”
“Midnight Train” exemplifies how Hey Mavis has a foot in two worlds. While it has roots in the mournful Appalachian ballad tradition, its viewpoint is distinctly contemporary, relating two different stories from a third-person viewpoint, tied together only conceptually.
Like Red Wine, Honey Man was produced by studio veteran Don Dixon, who helped the band achieve an effective balance between their different elements.
Hey Mavis hosts a release show, followed by reception and CD signing on Sat 2/2 at 8PM, doors 7PM at the Happy Days Lodge, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 500 W. Streetsboro Rd., Peninsula, OH Call 300-657-2909 X 100.
by Anastasia Pantsios
No Depression: Hey Mavis To Showcase "Honey Man" At Season Premier
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Well, since we last visited Hey Mavis, Tootsie Parker and her husband Stevie McGillicutty had anothe...Well, since we last visited Hey Mavis, Tootsie Parker and her husband Stevie McGillicutty had another baby, this time a boy to go along with their two daughters. They packed up their car and headed west with band mate Mavis Peachtree to perform at the world famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado where they played their way into the finals of the band contest. But afterwards, Mavis Peachtree decided to go splitsville from Stevie and Tootsie with her upright bass and travel with her husband in a new band. Tootsie and Stevie had played on a record by their bearded mountain man friend awhile back, one thing led to another, and darn did he decide to join up with them. But they were still in dire straits needing someone to play Mavis Peachtree’s parts. To their amazing stroke of luck, they persuaded the one and only Professor of Double Bass who teaches at the local university to round out the ensemble. Now that you’re all up to speed, I’ll tell you about the biggest news to hit the county in days!
Hey Mavis will be celebrating their second record titled Honey Man on Saturday, February 2nd at the beautiful and rustic Happy Days Lodge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The band centers around the gorgeous voice and banjo playing of Laurie Michelle Caner and extraordinary fiddler husband Ed Caner. With the departure of Sarah Benn, whose harmonies and stand-up bass has found a home in her band Shivering Timbers, the Caners have added brilliant songwriting troubadour Brent Kirby who brings his acoustic guitar, harmonica, kick drum, and vocal harmonies to give the band a slightly new sound. Also coming onboard is Bryan Thomas to play bass.
Ed Caner is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Physics and the Director of the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) at Case Western Reserve University. His credits as an author include Fiddling for Classical Stiffs and Fiddling for Classical Kids. Besides being a composer, Laurie is also home taking care of two daughters and the couple’s 20 month old son. Many readers will know Kirby as the leader of Brent Kirby and The Lost Fortunes along with their monthly transformation into the Gram Parsons inspired New Soft Shoe band. Kirby also hosts the 10x3 Songwriters Showcase at Brothers Wine Bar every Wednesday, is a member of local favorite The Jack Fords, and part of the holiday group Ohio City Singers. Thomas has been a regular bass player for Helen Welch along with the contra dance band Hu$hmoney with his lovely wife Tina Bergman. Thomas is revered as a faculty member at both the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University and the Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus jazz program.
Although Laurie is credited for all the songwriting except for “Let The Water Do The Work” which was penned by Kirby, she felt many of them took on new life when the band started working on them together. “I wrote ‘Already Down’ about four years ago when I was in a real rough spot, but never felt great about how it sounded” explained Laurie. “I gave it to Brent and a couple of weeks later he brought it back to me and I was astonished at its amazing transformation. The song completely rocks now and Brent sings it with such soul, something the song was really lacking.”
The eleven tracks of Honey Man were once again produced by the great Don Dixon who also did the band’s first album Red Wine. The record is a compilation of songs that talk about love, relationships, heartbreak, severing ties, parenting, and perseverance. You’ll hear Ed’s “viola profunda” solos and fills throughout, but it’s Laurie’s voice that sets the table on the tempo of the stories behind the music. The title track is a sexy slow burner compared to the upbeat hoedown feel of “Red Hot”. A string arrangement accompanies “Song For Suitors” and a Celtic feel embraces “Why Must I”. Two songs that are worthy of radio play are the lovely “By Your Side” and the gritty Appalachian “Midnight Train”. Brent adds lead vocal tracks on the poetic “Let the Water Do the Work” as well as “Already Down” that has some crazy fiddle playing by Ed.
Tickets to the Season Premier of Hey Mavis at Happy Days Lodge are only $12.00 general admission with a dessert reception and CD autograph signing following the show. The concert is selling like hotcakes, so I recommend you call the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park at (330) 657-2909 x100 for advance orders. Stay tuned-in to Stevie & Tootsie with their adventurous concert schedule and possible move from the big city to Pigeon Creek by visiting www.heymavis.com. Sign-up for the band’s mailing list so you don’t miss any episodes. It’s sure to be an awfully sweet season.
Malcolm X Abram: Hey Mavis to celebrate release of new album
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On Saturday night, a local band will celebrate the release of its new album and its continued surviv...On Saturday night, a local band will celebrate the release of its new album and its continued survival.
Local Americana/bluegrass quartet Hey Mavis (singer/banjoist Laurie Michelle Caner, her husband fiddler Ed Caner, guitarist/vocalist/percussionist/harmonica player Brent Kirby and upright bassist Bryan Thomas) will hold a CD release party at Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park for its sophomore effort, Honey Man.
The album comes relatively soon after the group’s 2010 debut Red Wine, but in those few years, the band has undergone a significant lineup change and endured a mix of triumphs and tribulations.
Begun by the Caners in 2008, the band had released Red Wine and was playing shows with its original trio lineup (featuring bassist/singer Sarah Benn, now of Shivering Timbers). Then everything began to go squirrelly.
“We went to hell and back on this CD,” Ed Caner said from his home in Cleveland. “Laurie and I were on the verge of just quitting completely.”
The band parted ways with Benn.
Caner injured his hand and began concentrating on his day job as a physics, innovation and entrepreneurship instructor at Case Western Reserve University.
Also, the Caners had their first-born child, Roscoe (why, yes, he was named for Dukes of Hazzard sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane), and “things were looking really grim for music,” Caner said.
Nevertheless, the duo soldiered on, determined to finish the batch of songs Laurie Caner had written. They picked up some local musicians (including current bassist Thomas) and began recording with famed producer Don Dixon (R.E.M., the Smithereens and others) and then tragedy struck.
“Four days before we were going to finish it, my cousin committed suicide and it totally flattened me; we were very close to each other,” Caner said.
The band was ready to call it quits but inspirational words from Dixon encouraged members to continue.
With Thomas already in tow, the band reached out to Kirby. He joined and Hey Mavis recut nearly the entire album over Thanksgiving 2011.
“We literally feel like we came out of a train wreck and now we’re cruising at top speed,” Ed Caner said, noting the positive press and good buzz the band has received including having the album’s bluesy, Kirby-sung and arranged lead single Already Down in regular rotation on 91.3 (WAPS-FM) the Summit.
Honey Man features 10 songs by Laurie Caner and one by Kirby. Laurie Caner’s honeyed alto and melodies imbue her songs such as the opener, Say Hello to Paris, about the change of lifestyle that having a kid necessitates, with a gravitas that comes when folks are singing their own words.
Throughout, Laurie Caner’s voice and Kirby’s bluesy tenor harmonize wonderfully, reminding Ed Caner of the classic sound of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons’ duets from their 1974 album Grievous Angel.
The album has fun tracks such as the randy, up-tempo, back porch stomping shuffle Red Hot and ballads including the gentle, sparse By Your Side (Strength and Sword), and the ersatz power-ballad Little Lovebird as well as Kirby’s bluegrass-inflected Let the Water Do the Work — one of Ed Caner’s favorite tunes on the album.
Hey Mavis’ folksy, contemporary Americana/bluegrass style has become quite de rigueur in pop music with bands such as Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers selling lots of records and selling out theaters.
Caner said he has seen a trickle-down effect on the band’s usual crowd of baby boomers and he has seen some new younger, hipper faces in their crowd.
“I don’t think they care when they find out we’re 30- and 40-somethings. We’re getting accepted, we’re not getting ignored. We’re happy to be in this genre; it’s always nice when more people are paying attention,” he said, noting that the banjo has become a much cooler instrument in recent years.
The show will be at the Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and in addition to freshly printed CDs, also available will be large prints of the Honey Man album cover drawn by local Leandra Drumm, daughter of world-renowned sculptor/artist Don Drumm. There will also be dessert.
Chris Spector: It's Not At All Twee
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It’s not at all twee and it was produced in Don Dixon’s basement just a few months after he ‘discove...It’s not at all twee and it was produced in Don Dixon’s basement just a few months after he ‘discovered’ them on a various artist xmas sampler. A back porch folk/rock vocal trio with chops honed by road work with everyone that matters, they are more concerned with Akron being the new Seattle than they are with leather wing bats so don’t worry about having to blow dust off this to enjoy it. Contemporary organic music that really hit’s the spot, this is a must for left leaning Americana ears that don’t worry about things being too purist when they should be more enjoyable. Well done.
MidwestRecord.com - Chris Spector
Akron Beacon Journal: Yum - Hey Mavis at Lockview
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By Malcolm X Abram The Lockview in downtown Akron is no longer a rock club, but owner/drummer Danny...By Malcolm X Abram
The Lockview in downtown Akron is no longer a rock club, but owner/drummer Danny Basone can't quite seem to get the rock out of his blood.
The bar/restaurant still occasionally hosts bands, including at its monthly whiskey socials (basically, you show up and try as much as you can stand of the Lockview's wide variety of whiskeys).
On Sunday, the Lockview will feature Akron's modern old-timey trio Hey Mavis, which will celebrate its new album Red Wine with a CD release party at 7 p.m.
The album was produced by respected knob twiddler Don Dixon, who has produced albums by R.E.M., the Smithereens and Hootie & the Blowfish, to name a few.
Dixon gives the mostly acoustic trio a nice, warm, natural sound that gives plenty of space to the combination of banjo, fiddle, double bass and the lovely harmonies of Tootsie Parker and Mavis Peachtree (aka singer/banjoist/primary songwriter Laurie Michelle Caner and singer/bassist/songwriter Sarah Benn). Fiddle man Stevie McGillicutty (Eddie Caner, husband of Michelle) waxes melodic in, around and through the melody.
The ladies write some pretty catchy tunes in the modern old-timey style. If you're a sucker for good vocal harmony, as I am, songs such as the pretty, ethereal ballad If I Want To and the humorous lyrics and pop groove of New Seattle should pleasantly tickle your eardrums.
Plain Dealer: Giving a Shout Out to Hey Mavis
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For those that have read the last two editions of Minkin's Music, this month follows the trend of ye...For those that have read the last two editions of Minkin's Music, this month follows the trend of yet another great local band releasing a very cool record. Following Brent Kirby and Kate Tucker in this trilogy is a trio called Hey Mavis.
Hey Mavis was formed in 2008 as part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Artist-In-Residence program that the group just completed. The band is lead by vocalist Laurie Michelle Caner on banjo, husband Ed Caner on viola and fiddle, and Sarah Benn on the upright bass and vocals. Some of you may recognize Laurie and Sarah as members of another trio called The Rhondas. Ed is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Physics and the Director of the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) at Case Western Reserve University. His credits as an author include Fiddling for Classical Stiffs and Fiddling for Classical Kids. Sarah also goes by the nickname "Mavis Peachtree" and that's how the band coined it's name.
The rootsy Americana hill country sound of Hey Mavis will be releasing their debut record Red Wine on Sunday, August 8th at The Lockview in downtown Akron from 7-11PM. The album was produced by Don Dixon, who was behind the controls for many artists, most notably REM. The sweet vocal harmonies of Laurie and Sarah blend with Ed's viola profunda sound effects to give the trio a big, fat sound on the collection of all original material. Highlights include "Knock Me Off My Feet", "If I Want To", "Red Light", and the title track. Sarah wrote the song "New Seattle" after hearing a NYC cab driver's response for her hometown of Akron.
You can also catch Hey Mavis in Cleveland on July 16th at The Harp for the pub's folk festival evening, at the Cleveland Metroparks Brookside Valley Event Site for Brookstock - A Celebration of Music & Nature on the afternoon of July 17th, July 24th at The Vine and Bean Cafe from 8-10PM and Aug 7th at The Lakewood Arts Festival from 11:00-Noon. For additional show listings, visit www.heymavis.com along with their Myspace and Facebook pages.
51 Weeks of Cleveland 1 night of Akron
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Next on the bill was a soulful trio called Hey Mavis. They were absolutely amazing. A complete thr...Next on the bill was a soulful trio called Hey Mavis. They were absolutely amazing. A complete throwback to early traditional bluegrass with one of the most amazing fiddle players I have ever heard. He added this element of electronic to a very old timey sounding act. Something about it just mixed perfectly. It was like these 2 beautiful muses were singing traditional bluegrass with this almost space age instrumentation. Surreal, ethereal, call it what you want it works and it works well. They are playing at Prosperity on Saturday night Cleveland folks. Do yourself a favor and check them out!
Youngsters to Play with Hey Mavis
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By Malcolm X Abram Beacon Journal music writer Published on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 When most p...By Malcolm X Abram
Beacon Journal music writer
Published on Wednesday, May 19, 2010
When most parents contemplate an evening of high school and middle school orchestras, it usually involves enduring rhythmically loose and harmonically helter-skelter renditions of Mozart, Beethoven and other classics. But tonight, the Akron Firestone High School Orchestra and the Litchfield Middle School Strings will turn Firestone's auditorium into a big back porch as they perform with local ''modern old-timey band'' Hey Mavis.
The trio of Laurie Michelle ''Tootsie Parker'' Caner (vocals, banjo), Sarah ''Mavis Peachtree'' Benn (vocals, bass) and Ed ''Stevie McGillicutty'' Caner (viola, fiddle, mixmaster, and reluctant vocals) have been performing their mix of old-time
Americana, bluegrass and folk with a few electrified modern touches since 2008.
Fiddleman Ed Caner, who in his previous life as a professional sideman (he now works for a computer company) played in the Cleveland Opera Orchestra and behind Luciano Pavarotti, Smokey Robinson, Wayne Newton, and Page and Plant, has written arrangements for the past three years for Firestone's string teacher, Pam Fiocca, as part of a system-wide mandate that string teachers incorporate alternative genres and styles alongside the usual classics. Caner enjoyed working with the kids so much, he thought this year, why not combine the string arrangements with his band? ''Since we're on the fringes and an old-timey modern group, the orchestrations fit in perfectly and fulfill their requirement,''
For the show, Caner has written string arrangements for a mix of traditional country/bluegrass songs such as Shortnin' Bread and Oh Susanna, as well as six Hey Mavis originals written by his newlywed wife, Laurie Caner, and Benn. Ed Caner said when writing the arrangements, he tailored them to each of the three groups — Firestone's strings, fifth- and sixth-grade and seventh- and eighth-grade string sections — to help ensure they perform their best. ''Obviously, some of the stuff the high school kids are playing, the middle school kids would struggle with,'' he said, noting the kid musicians have been enjoying the music and learning quite a bit. ''This kind of feel and this kind of music takes a long time to internalize, a long time to 'get it,' but what we're doing is introducing them to new rhythms which they get, and the idea of singers singing with the band, so it's pretty cool,'' Caner
Serendipitously, Hey Mavis also has a new album, Red Wine, produced by Don Dixon (R.E.M., the Smithereens) that will be released in June. Caner hopes a few parents will be interested in checking it out after seeing their kids play along.
Caner also wants to take the idea to other area community orchestras, including some that have performed with guest singers such as the Alliance Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra, which will be
performing with Jon Anderson of Yes on Monday (see story on Page B12). ''We're excited about it, it's definitely not your everyday gig,'' Caner said.
First Night Akron celebrates new year with new attractions
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By Kathleen Folkerth Here are a few highlights of this year’s First Night Akron: • Laureen Mi...By Kathleen Folkerth
Here are a few highlights of this year’s First Night Akron:
• Laureen Michelle Caner describes Hey Mavis, the band she is in with her husband, Ed Caner, and Sarah Benn, as “modern old-timey.”
“When people see fiddle, banjo and upright bass, they think we’re bluegrass, but we have some more modern elements to our music,” she said.
In addition to performing at the Kids Countdown Show at Lock 3, starting at 8:30 p.m., the band will be on hand at Lock 3 for songwriting workshops at 5, 6 and 7 p.m.
Ed and Laureen Caner are artists-in-residence at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and conduct the workshops regularly, helping groups of people brainstorm to create a song together.
“We come in with a chorus and one verse already written,” Laureen Caner said. “The song is tailored to wherever we do our workshop. We have the workshop participants brainstorm on their ideas and their memories — what they see, what they hear, what they remember about Akron or First Night in the past. Once we have everyone’s ideas, we look at those and see what we can use to create verses for the song.”
She expects that one verse will be created at each of the three workshops. The entire song will be performed when the band plays later in the evening.
The Caners, the parents of two young children, said First Night is a great way for families to celebrate the new year.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful event for people young and old to come together to celebrate,” Laureen Caner said. “There’s always so much going on. Really, it’s for everybody.”
Hey Mavis plays to the audience. The group can shift from traditional songs to barn-burning bluegrass to Celtic mainstays to heart-wrenching songs about life, love, and motherhood. 90% of songs are original.
Added together, the members of Hey Mavis have played over 8,000 gigs, and their repertoire covers hundreds of songs. Typical shows are two one-hour sets. (If the conditions are right, the band can play all night).
Hey Mavis Originals:
Let the Water Do the Work
Say Hello to Paris
By Your Side (Strength and Sword)
Song for Suitors
Why Must I
Some Old Day
Freight Train (written by our friend Benny Galloway)
Hang it on the Line
I Ain't Gonna Cry
If I Want To
Johnny Cake Lock
Knock Me Off My Feet
On Your Wing
Snowin in the Mountains (written by our friend Greg Schochet)
Tell Me Lover True
Hey Mavis Covers:
Lakes of Ponchartrain
Hard Times (Stephen Foster)
L & N Don't Stop Here Any More (Jean Ritchie)
Step It Out Mary/Nancy
Over 100 Celtic and American fiddle tunes