Annie and Rod Capps
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Annie and Rod Capps

Chelsea, Michigan, United States | INDIE

Chelsea, Michigan, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ann Arbor Observer"

Singer-songwriter Annie Capps is heir to the long history of folk music as a medium for social commentary. At the same time, she is clearly a folksinger for the twenty-first century, using her art to explore the psychology of the inidividual, to engage in a little fret therapy. Most of Capp's songs are written in the first person, with introspective lyrics about trying to make sense of being a woman, a grown-up, a person with doubts and fears, and desires. As you might expect, her strongest moments are when her inner revelations speak clearly to ours.

On the opening track of her latest CD, Not So Sure, Capps asks, "So are these eggshells I'm walking on, or is this air?" Another catchy lyric, from the song "Tracks," observes, "I've got a real bad habit of talking me down, and I've got way too much to say."

Capps writes dependable three-and-a-half-minute songs with comfortable phrasing, catchy choruses and not too much excitement. She sings them in a lovely, uncomplicated voice, and has a cute way of scrunching up her nose when she performs that makes her easy to like. Her quiet musical style sets her apart from the Lilith Fair-type "grrrls," while her tough vulnerability is still in keeping with Chrissie Hynde's prettier pieces.

Musically, Annie Capps owes much to her husband and longtime collaborator, Rod Capps. Rod is a silent partner on stage, letting the guitar do all his communicating, but he always adds the right silky jazz lines, blues undertones, or southern rock feel to Annie's compositions and simpler rhythm-guitar chops. Every time the singing is replaced by one of his guitar solos, he makes the whole song feel more fluid, less mechanical.

Annie's live performances also benefit from the percussion and vocal work of Christine Schinker. Schinker's easy rhythm on hand drums fills in the empty spaces unobtrusively. But her most valuable contribution is her voice-she has a great ear for warm harmonies and blends her own bright and clear tone beautifully with Capp's.

For all her efforts to get you thinking, Capps also knows how to poke fun at her own genre-and at the sometimes painful life in a working band at local bars and parties. The wryly titled "Cerebral," though a bit of a novelty tune, may be the highlight of the CD; "Don't try appealing to my sensitive side / Don't try to raise up my unconsciousness ... 'cause I just came here to have a beer...I just came here to have a drink/ and I don't wanna have to think."
- Stephanie Kadel-Taras

"The Current"

Spend a few minutes with Annie and Rod Capps after one of their shows, or listen closely to the way their musical identities merge on stage. The nature of their relationships -- both personal and musical -- becomes immediately clear: it's a happily balanced scale, harmoniously uniting his mellow and her ebullient personalities.

The Capps met through musical ties in the '80s and dated on and off for the next 10 years while simultaneously partaking in several different musical ensembles, which included a long-standing rock 'n' roll cover band. The monotonous cover gigs wore their spirits down. "We were competing with hockey games and chicken fingers for the audience's attention," says Annie. The situation taught them the nuts and bolts of music's less glamorous aspects, however, such as running a gig, booking the band and learning how to deal with performing the same songs night after night.

A new sound of music soon caught Annie's attention, which she heard on the sadly now-defunct Windsor radio station 93.9 FM, "The River." Performers such as Jonatha Brooke and Shawn Colvin inspired her with their stripped-back sound and heartfelt lyrics. Despite Rod's background in electric/rock guitar, he had always dabbled in the acoustic genre, so the shift seemed like a natural, though initially intimidating, change. As Annie admits, "It's taken us until fairly recently to become comfortable with just the two of us on stage -- there's really no band to hide behind."

With Annie's upbeat rhythmic guitar and poignant and precise songwriting, Rod's gorgeous and thoughtful lead guitar and percussionist Christine Schinker's grooving accompaniment, the Capps need not hide behind a thing. The yin and yang elements of their relationship produce music that is fiery yet contemplative, heartfelt yet wise, and always even-keeled. As Rod explains, "The balance of her spontaneity and my calculation is the beauty of it all."
- Kyle Norris

"In This Town Review"

By Michael Devlin
Here’s a duo who perform simple, well-written and played songs. Annie has a grown-up girl next-door voice as she sings with a slightly flat Midwestern accent. Rod plays various guitars and banjos. They are not trying to dazzle with flashy playing or show stopping vocals, but the songs are truly told with a beautiful eye for detail. Annie’s voice is disarming as she effortlessly captures your attention with her narrative stories. The music eases through various styles, every bit of it well played in straightforward arrangements that could easily be taken on the road. If this album is any indication, one could imagine being at one of their concerts begging them to play just one more song far into the night. - Music Matters Review

"Top of FOLK DJ Charts 2007"

In This Town was the #3 song in August and #38 for the year on Folk Radio.

A3 named them Song, Album and Artist of the Year for 2007!

Maggie Ferguson of WXOU gave them a "Very Honorable Mention" in her Album of the Year list.

- Various

"Miscellaneous Quotes"

“It is such a joy to watch artists who do all the right things…for the right reasons…and then …by some all crystallizes into something totally unique and special. So it seems to be happening for Annie & Rod Capps. Journeymen and apprentices in the singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar-duo world, they have paid close attention, studied and absorbed, and created their own sound and presence: infectious, impeccable, engaging. They have done the hard road work; singing in bars, at song circles, house concerts, clubs and festivals, and we all are the beneficiaries. Keep an ear out ...I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about them.” - David Tamulevich

“Annie and Rod Capps write complex, winding melodies that fit Annie’s delicate voice perfectly. She sings with a relaxed, clean Midwestern twang, sliding you into the middle of lives and situations that are always interesting and dotted with real insight.” – Dave Siglin, The Ark

"Everything about Annie & Rod Capps' music is thoroughly enjoyable whether it's Annie's sparkling vocals, Rod's incredible guitar playing or their wonderful songs. These two are the real deal and your life will be richer for having seen and heard them, and for owning their CD's. So treat yourself!" - Al Kniola, The Back Porch, 88.1 WVPE Public Radio.

"Annie and Rod Capps provided the perfect kick off for our Concerts In Your Home series. Annie really connected with our audience. She is outright cute and such a joy to watch perform. Rod’s performance on the guitar was equally amazing. With each song, our guests found a new favorite. We wanted someone special to kick off our concert series and Jeff Robertson of recommended the Capps. We weren’t disappointed and are still smiling." -Bob and Pat Hofbauer, West Bethesda Concerts

“… the folkie- songwriter genre can seem so overpopulated and colorless that many listeners simply won’t be interested. … Annie Capps is an exception, and the reasons why make a fairly long list. ---… the mature outlook of an artist who’s tended her own garden well for a long time is refreshing…” – Chris Rietz, Lansing State Journal

“[’One Big Show’ is] a perennial classic.” - Steve Jerrett, KOPN, 89.5 FM - Columbia, MO

“Wow – [In This Town] is awesome! Wonderful collection!” - Jerry Saint, WMHB, Waterville, ME

“It’s fantastic!” - Marty Scarbrough, KASU Program Director, State University, AR

“Already know the Capps will be a fave for me.” - Norm Mast, WVPE, Elkhart, IN

“Watch out for Annie Capps. Her latest recording and recent live shows are proof that yet another major talent is developing here in Michigan.” – Matt Watroba, Host of the Folks Like Us radio program, WDET Detroit Public Radio

“There is a vitality to their performance that is infectious. Great music by fun people!”
– Jim McTiernan, Flint Folk Society

“When I look around the room at an Annie and Rod Capps performance, I see a lot of smiling faces with eyes riveted to the stage. Everyone seems to be in on a secret, and they want to savor every moment of it. Afterward, people are eager to tell me how much they enjoyed the show. Between Rod’s exceptionally fluid instrumental work and Annie’s disarmingly honest songs, there is a magic that energizes an audience. I can’t wait to bring them back to our concert series!”– Tim Piazza, host of Concerts at the Cabin []

“Their performances were simply outstanding!”
– Craig Carrick, Music Director – Noreastr Music Festival []

“The audience is drawn in right from the beginning with Annie’s amazing voice and the power of her songs. She has a way of making everyone in the venue feel like she is his or her personal friend.”
– Dave Rutkofske, Blue Water Folk Society (Thumbfest) - Live show and radio

"Mature Entry in Folkie-Songwriter Genre"

by Chris Rietz

"In This Town," coming out Tuesday, is the fifth album from longtime Ann Arbor songwriting luminary Annie Capps and her multi-instrumentalist/musical director husband, Rod.

In years past, they were bandmates in Detroit-based bands Dreamstreet and Foolish Mortals; Annie is also a charter member of the Yellow Room Gang, a sort of Ann Arbor songwriter mafia and occasional performance group with the Mustard's Retreat boys, Whit Hill, Kitty Donohoe, Matt Watroba, David Barrett and others.

Annie and Rod sing songs and play guitars; and the folkie- songwriter genre can seem so overpopulated and colorless that many listeners simply won't be interested. That's too bad, because Annie Capps is an exception, and the reasons why make a fairly long list.

First of all, Annie is a grownup, and the mature outlook of an artist who's tended her own garden well for a long time is refreshing, in a genre seemingly owned by youthful angst (or narcissism). ["In This Town"] is the final break from her confessional style of the past, and her song's narratives are now entirely fiction - a parallel universe where real truth resides.

In this regard, "In This Town" is her breakout album. The songs are deliciously underwritten, almost snapshots, and the best are vignettes that suggest vastly more than they depict. "Find a Smile" is a trucker-and-his-lonely-wife song with a dark undercurrent unlike any other trucker song; "The Ring" is a masterfully crafted anecdote about finding a diamond ring in a pile of shattered glass.

Annie and Rod also resist the temptation to affect a countrified sound, the haven du jour for countless mediocre songwriters. Annie has a warm, little- girl voice that never drawls, nor does she force it into uncomfortable territory; it's unmannered and direct, and it's always appealing.

Because she's the singer - and more or less the sole songwriter - Annie may be the star of the show. But Rod gets equal billing, and rightfully so: the arrangements and production are his bailiwick. Note how his funk bass bounces off Annie's ukulele in "Tumbling Down," likely the first such pairing ever; and how his facile, quicksilver guitar-playing fills the album with spark yet somehow never gets in the way.

Chris Rietz works at Elderly Instruments in Lansing. His reviews appear every other week in What's On. Contact him at - From the Lansing State Journal 7/5/07

"Annie and Rod Capps "In This Town""

By James M. Manheim

“If I lived in this town, I would frequent this café,” sings Annie Capps “and that table in the corner would be mine most every day.” Capps has a way of starting a song with an image that’s simple yet arresting enough to propel you through the ensuing developments, which often cover quite a bit of territory. That one leads to a whole imagined new existence for an unhappy woman, resembling the one that unexpectedly comes to fruiting in Anne Tyler’s novel The Ladder of Years. Quite a few of her songs instantly place you in the protagonist’s mind: “Crossed the Mississippi, said good-bye to you/Hello to the road and a new thought or two.”

Capps is one of a group of Ann Arbor songwriters (sometimes known as the Yellow Room Gang) who have created a genuine local scene and often taken it on the road to metro Detroit and northwestern Ohio and the northern Lower Peninsula. One among their number, Jan Krist, coined the term “Midwest Urban folk” to describe the music they make – they are all into detailed songcraft, but they grew up in Michigan amid rock and Motown and country, and there’s usually a beat of one kind or another running through the music. Annie Capps works with her husband Rod on guitars and other strings, and her band often features the subtle percussion of Christine Schinker. They form a tight, symbiotic group that sets a mood for Capps’ songs without over-whelming them.

Capps has been writing songs since she was eleven, and the music on her older albums often had an appealing mixture of confession and sass. When she comes to the Ark on Friday, June 22, she’ll have a new release, In This Town. I’ve heard a working version and it’s terrific. Capps has some great story songs – the title track quoted above and The Ring, a virtuoso effort about a woman who is sweeping up shattered glass [] and spots a wedding ring in the debris. As her reflections unfold – “The trouble with hope is the way that it shatters” – they’re periodically qualified by a little “sometimes, anyways” that makes the whole funny-sad set of images reverberate in the brain.

Capps also broadens her range on In This Town, probably under the influence of her Yellow Room Gang associates. Some of her new songs tackle big spiritual questions the way that Krist does, and others have a bit of Whit Hill’s quirky outlook. That’s how you make a promising scene grow, and those who follow Michigan songwriting or just want to check some out should come on down to the Ark for Annie Capps turn in the spotlight. - Ann Arbor Observer

"Folk DJ Charts August 2009"

My Blue Garden #2 Album
My Blue Garden #1 Song
Serenity Road #3 Song
Honey, Sugar, Baby, Mine #15 Song
Crocodile Man #25 Song - Folk DJ-L

"My Blue Garden Review"

"Annie and Rod Capps are familiar names (OK, friends) for anyone who attends Folk Alliance conferences. Super-genial, understated musicians that will rip your heart out with a song if you put your guard down. You’ve been warned… and you’ll be charmed.

For: fans of song, especially those who prefer traditional-ish delivery that belies the clean, world-class production.

Check out and pick up their CD.
Book them for a house concert.
You’ll be delighted on both counts.

Fran Snyder
- Blog

"My Blue Garden CD Review"

“My Blue Garden,” the new album by Annie and Rod Capps, abounds with new twists on old themes. These well-crafted songs live in mostly familiar territory, but it’s seen in original ways.

The best song on the album may be the opener, “Serenity Road”, a wistful nod to times that are changing, and not necessarily for the better. It’s a well-worn idea, of course, but the Capps give it a different spin. The title metaphor can’t help but recall “Big Yellow Taxi,” which only lends the lyric added depth.

“Honey Sugar Baby Mine” echoes the old folk chestnut “Crawdad Song” (and “Fishin’ Blues,”, too), both lyrically and musically. But it's irresistible and still sounds fresh. This basic scene has been sketched endless times in countless songs over the years, but I’m not sure it’s ever been done better.

Listen to Annie and Rod Capps “Honey, Sugar, Baby, Mine” (MP3).

“Everything Good” offers a portrait of star-crossed lovers — again, familiar ground. But with great lines like “Until the barroom lights come up, he’s the one she loves,” it doesn’t feel that way.

annieandrodcouch500.jpg“Someone Who Knows” is a word of caution to a young woman making mistakes the narrator recognizes all too well. “Another Day” feels like an outtake from a Mary Chapin Carpenter album, and I mean that in a good way. And when it comes to revisiting old themes, the title song outdoes itself — weaving together Jack and the beanstalk, Adam and Eve, and the cow jumping over the moon into a cohesive (if hard to describe) whole.

The Capps’ basic sound sits somewhere in the middle of the rootsy sort of Americana/folk that so many in this area do so well — and this duo is among the best. Both halves of this Chelsea-based married couple play guitar, and Annie sings lead.

On this album, they are backed by a number of names familiar from the regional folk scene, with Jason Dennie’s mandolin getting special billing. Throughout, the playing is spirited and flawless, and the recording is cleanly and crisply produced (by Glenn Brown and the couple). The Capps’ “Blue Garden” is a perfect place to spend some time on a summer afternoon.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for He can be reached at - Ann (Formerly Ann Arbor News)


Annie and Rod Capps: Take Me To The Fair (EP), June 2011
Annie and Rod Capps: My Blue Garden, August 2009
Annie and Rod Capps: In This Town, July 2007
Yellow Room Gang Vol 2 - Happy New Day - Dec 2008
Yellow Room Gang Compilation, Volume 1: January 2006
Annie and Rod Capps: One Big Show, August 2005
Annie Capps: Not So Sure, April 2003
Annie Capps: The Wrong Shoes, July 2001



"... infectious, impeccable, engaging. ..." -David Tamulevich, Tamulevich Artist Management

You will find more updated information on our website, including new music, video and current tour schedule.

Songs about broken things and poignant little ponderings are delivered with a rootsy vibe, a touch of twang and a soulful groove. Kerrville New Folk Finalists in 2010 and 2012, Annie and Rod are on a musical journey that began in 1982, culminating into a symbiotic sound that reflects their deep and intuitive understanding of each other. Annie’s disarmingly sweet voice and solid command of her guitar are punctuated by Rod’s instinctive accompaniment and beautiful solo work. Their passion for what they do and their love for each other radiates from the stage. Together they weave unforgettable melodies that are at once intricate and sparse - musically completing each others’ sentences.

Annie & Rod's latest recording, an EP called "Take Me To The Fair" features 5 new original songs, a couple stripped down versions of previously recorded songs and their unique instrumental interpretation of "Whiskey Before Breakfast". In its very limited release, this little EP brought them more praise for both songwriting and musicianship including a Detroit Music Award nomination and a Kerrville New Folk finalist song. The EP was recorded live in the studio in one afternoon with the help of Jason Dennie on mandolin and vocals. They have since dropped in to record random new songs which are available as singles. A new full length CD is in the conceptual stages and expected to appear late 2013 or early 2014.

The Capps' sixth CD, “My Blue Garden”, released in August 2009, made it to #2 on the Folk DJ-L charts, and the title track was the #1 song. Seeded with fresh, beautifully-crafted songwriting, its a collage of soulful sketches rooted in small town USA, where familiar and accessible characters might be your next door neighbor, a member of the family or a close friend. Co-produced by Glenn Brown (Jeff Daniels, Rachael Davis, Steppin in it) this album features an essential cast of some of Michigan’s finest musicians - most prominently, Jason Dennie, a regular addition to their live shows, on virtuoso mandolin and sweet harmony vocals. Drew Howard soars on pedal steel and dobro, and the angelic voices of Rachael Davis and Jan Krist are high points.

“With “My Blue Garden”, Annie and Rod Capps have proven themselves to be master gardeners in the area of contemporary folk. All of the songs on the album are stand-outs!” - Lilli Kuzma, Folk Festival on WDCB Public Radio, Glen Ellyn, IL

"Great songs, well sung with hot licks -- can't beat that combination!" - Joel Mabus, Singer/Songwriter

Over the years, they have done everything from rock to musical theater and while they continue to draw from a carpet bag of genres and influences, what comes out is a hybrid sound all their own. Genuine and playful; effortless and endearing; this duo has been enchanting audiences in quality music venues, house concerts, coffeehouses and festivals throughout their home state of Michigan, the Midwest and beyond.

"When I look around the room at an Annie and Rod Capps performance, I see a lot of smiling faces with eyes riveted to the stage...there is a magic that energizes an audience. I can't wait to bring them back to our concert series!" - Tim Piazza, Concerts at the Cabin, Evansville, Indiana.

2007’s “In This Town” was the Capps’ break-through fifth release, marking their transition from local artist to nationally known act. This fine collection of vignettes is set before backdrops ranging from a friendly town café to an empty house; a dark bar to a front porch; a jail cell to the wide open road.

"Capps has a way of starting a song with an image that's simple, yet arresting enough to propel you through the ensuing developments, which often covers quite a bit of territory." -Jim Manheim, Ann Arbor Observer

Annie and Rod have warmed up audiences for Lucy Kaplansky, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry, The Kennedys, Kelly Joe Phelps, David Bromberg, Joe Jencks, Mustard’s Retreat and many others.

Annie is also a proud member of the Yellow Room Gang (, a group of renowned singer/songwriters who meet monthly to share new works in progress, friendship and ice cream. The whole gang or smaller groups of the various members have performed together often at concert halls, libraries and festivals.

As a Board member of FARM, the Midwest Region of Folk Alliance and co-founder of Songwriter’s Anonymous, a networking collective of 40+ members of the local music community,