music

Mitch Teich

Cellist Olivia Hahn and violinist Karla Dietmeyer began playing with each other while attending Luther College in Iowa. It’s only been very recently that the two are living in the same city again - this time in Minneapolis. It’s made playing and writing together as The OK Factor much easier.

Both classically trained, Hahn and Dietmeyer describe their music as alternative folk  that draws from bluegrass, jazz and popular music, bending the roles of classical music and their formal training.

Klassik / facebook.com

Kellen Abston is a hip-hop artist and rapper who performs under the name Klassik.  He grew up in Milwaukee and attended school here. And in the three years since his first full-length album was released he’s become a rising star on a number of “artists to watch” lists.

Vishten, Facebook

Pascal Miousse and twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle Leblanc – the group known as Vishten – have visited the Lake Effect performance studio in the past. They hail from Canada’s Iles de la Madeleine – of Magdalen Islands – and Prince Edward Island, respectively.

Shirley Rodriguez via slvmusic.com

After an accidental collaboration at a shared practice space in Chinatown, NYC, Sandra Velasquez and Milwaukee native Sean Dixon formed the musical group SLV.

The group was recently on tour, passing through the Midwest. Before their Milwaukee show, SLV stopped by the Lake Effect studios.

socksinthefryingpan.com

The last band we had in for Irish Fest this year was Co. Claire's trio Flash in the Pan, made up of brothers Shane and Fiachra Hayes and Aodan Coyne. This is the band's second year at Irish Fest and their second year as a formal band.

webanjo3.com

Back in 2012 we had a brand-new band play for us in the Lake Effect studio. We Banjo 3 was here as part of Irish Fest's exploration of how Irish traditional music influenced American bluegrass and vice versa. It was the band's first appearance in America, and our interview that year was their first radio interview as a band.

dallahanmusic.com

One of the bands we had in the studio this year during Irish Fest is the Scottish band Dallahan. The band is made up of Balázs Harmann (double-bass), Paddy Callaghan (button accordion), Ciarán Ryan (banjo/mandolin/fiddle), Jani Lang (fiddle), and Jack Badcock (guitar/vocals).

Suzanne Plunkett / lizcarroll.com

Fiddler Liz Carroll has won just about every musical accolade there is to be had. Her parents immigrated to Chicago from Ireland in the 1950s and Carroll began playing as a child.

She won the Senior All-Ireland Championship when she was 18, has recorded with almost every luminary in the Celtic music pantheon, was nominated for a Grammy award in the Irish traditional category – the first time for an American musician – and she’s played for the President of the United States.

blogocram / Flickr

It’s not often we get a concert harp in the Lake Effect performance studio. So when Lauren Hayes wrote to say she was back in Wisconsin to give a performance, we jumped at the chance to have her in to perform.

Hayes is from Whitewater and countertenor Patrick Terry is from Janesville. They're both about to go into the second year of their masters' degree programs at the Royal Academy of Music in London. And London is where they first met despite having grown up very near each other.

irishfest.com

The ethnic festival season continues next week with the nation’s largest Irish heritage festival.  

Before the 35th annual Irish Fest kicks off, Lake Effect connects with Ed Ward and John Maher, who have been with Irish Fest since before there was an Irish Fest. They’re part of the longtime Milwaukee traditional Irish band, Blarney, which started six years before the festival began in 1981.

CPS

As summer winds down, practice may be far removed from the minds of music students. But practice does make perfect, and it is the art of repetition and fine-tuning a sound that adds up to a great musician.

Cellist Robert Cohen says, "Feeling of having done more than you've expected to do...you somehow are able to be more expressive than the effort you're putting in to it. It just seems to pour out of you."

jessklein.com

There comes a time in an artist's life when they have the desire and the resources to do what they want, and not worry about what a record label, producer, or even fans are asking for. 

Such is the case for Austin-based singer/songwriter Jess Klein.  Her latest album is called Learning Faith.  Leaning towards a concept album, Klein drew upon raw emotions and the aspect of faith in many areas of life. 

"I’ve always had an interest in spirituality. I’ve never had a religion but I’ve always felt a longing to connect to something bigger," says Klein.

http://www.gregkoch.com/

Born and raised in the area, Greg Koch still calls Milwaukee home.

Heavily influenced by his older brother’s record collection growing up, Koch plays his own hybrid of several iconic styles.  Joe Bonamassa, current guitar god in his own right, once said Koch is pound for pound the best guitar player in the world.

In the liner notes of his first album, released in 1993, Koch described his style as, “Chet Hendrix meeting the Kings (BB, Albert and Freddie) at the first annual Zeppelin-Holdsworth Coffee Guzzlers Hoedown.”

http://whitehorsemusic.ca/

Luke Doucet and Melissa McClellan were both successful solo singer-songwriters before they were married in 2006.  In 2011, they decided to combine forces and form Whitehorse

Sometimes playing nearly 100 concerts in a year, Whitehorse doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. They even travel with their infant child. With all that time spent on the road, it’s hard to imagine time for anything else, let alone practice - which is just one reason why duo doesn’t put too much thought into rehearsing.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

When the singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, she became just the latest example of a musician on a seemingly promising trajectory to have their life cut short by drugs or alcohol.

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