A musical sparkler for the People.
Saturday July 1 at 7:30 pm
Sunday July 2 at 2:00 pm
Tickets: $10 students; $20 adults (plus Eventbrite fees)
Homesong is a show for those blessed to be in Mineral Point for the 4th of July.
Come into the cool of this venue gem for a kindred, commemorative celebration of the national holiday.
Jen Logueflower leads a troupe of ten dynamic players, including several multi-instrumentalists backing a wide range of local voices, in solo, duet, and chorus modes. Homesong features Jen’s novel arrangements of well-loved familiar tunes in the folk, blues, jazz and spiritual traditions, as well as original musical settings of notable old-time poetry and prose. A smart narrative thematically ties the program together.
This troupe is not your standard rock outfit — instead, the lead singer role shifts constantly, and the deep bench of vocalists and instrumentalists guarantees rich harmonies and beautiful individual expression and spunk.
“There’s a happy reunion vibe for half of this ensemble who collaborated on several Logueflower Poemsong productions from 2011 to 2015. Homesong has been simmering for a decade. I am encouraged and honored to present it at the Mineral Point Opera House. [scroll to bottom for a retrospective]
“I love music. Many of my happiest times are at the piano writing, arranging, directing and joyfully vocalizing. My friend John Birner returns with his quintessential electric guitar, rich baritone/tenor voices, and curious synth pedals. Eric Miller and Todd Hammes are back as core members of the band. Eric is a gifted intuitive cellist and trumpeter, and Todd – an adept and extraordinarily versatile percussionist. They’re both professionals with vibrant teaching careers in Madison. They up our game.
“A seasoned pair of senior vocalists return from Poemsong days. They are Mike Mitchell and Vicki Mecozzi. He’s the retired Hardware man with the ageless tenor — catch him in his role as emcee for the 4th of July City Band concert pie and ice cream tradition at Soldier’s Park. Mike loves the town and her stage. And Vicki Mecozzi of rural Dodgeville is a steady local barn dance caller and a gal with a rich voice and commanding stage presence. She has the impeccable timing of a veteran performer and she’s fun.
“We welcome five new members to the Troupe:
“Veteran musician and teacher Shannon Greaves of Linden joins us on flute, autoharp, and powerhouse vocals. Superb bluegrass musician and multi-string player Mike Schmidt of Spring Green shares his proficiency and delight on guitar, banjo, and mountain dulcimer. Local poet and deep rememberer Justin O’Brien serves as narrator, bringing the higher angels’ audience perspective.
“From the local younger set, we welcome tenor Daniel Nordstrom, everybody’s favorite plumber’s apprentice, and a trombonist with the Driftless Bones. Alexis Berget is a Lawrence University student of music with a sweet countenance and a true clear soprano. Both Daniel and Alexis have shared their talents on the OH stage as recent graduates of the MPHS musical theater club, notably as Cosette and Marius in Les Miserables.
“We’re gracefully guided by Christina Harrington, manager of the MPOH, which was dedicated in 1915 as “A Theatre For All The People.” We’re staged and illuminated by the creative Steve Falconer and in the auditory care of soundmen Brad Jones and Dave Hopper (who wired and recorded Poemsong and Heritagesong). Lauren Powers, Opera House board member emeritus, is keeping watch over the whole production as only she can. And, the savvy senior supporters – my dear mother Jude Clayton and her best pal Therese Hess – are of constant patient counsel.
“Kindred spirits all!”
For those new to town…some back story:
A decade or so ago, I shared a series of pieces called Poemsong.
Encouraged by then-local playwright, actor, and producer Coleman, to manifest a summer offering at Alley Stage, the first production was very well received. So much so, the troupe played another round at the OH the following winter. The next autumn, in 2013, I expanded the repertoire for a concert at the Congregational Church here in town. I continued to work with the core group of musicians and welcomed others. We clicked and gathered yet again at Alley Stage for a 2015 piece entitled HeritageSong, an unabashed patriotic evening chock full of anthem and 4th of July folk.
Here’s a promotional piece the High Street Sweets Hayes posted on their blog back then: https://highstreetbeat.net/2013/09/19/poemsong-pure-genius/
And, the trailer we ran in 2012 for the Opera House Poemsong:
I’ve taken a lengthy hiatus from public performance for mothering and homemaking and e-commercing my husband Generik’s hand-forged iron art. Family callings worth answering. I continue my work locally as a church piano accompanist and as a substitute teacher. The apron strings are taut as we celebrate our younger son’s graduation from MPHS this spring. I look forward to sharing more music as my roles change.
I never stopped composing. I can’t read the great works of philosophers, writers, and poets and not look for melodies in the words. You’ll find me habitually consulting etymonline.com — hopeful that the wise old writings across the centuries find new meaning and relevance in song.
We’ve all walked some suffering these last few years.
Time for some mending and healing together.
God willin’ Homesong’ll help.