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Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe
2477-2475 18th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20009
ON SALE NOW!
— Songbyrd Presents
The Iris Bell with Strangled Darlings and Ballad Of
Saturday January 20, 2018
D: 7:00 // S: 8:00 PM
— The Iris Bell
The Iris Bell has crafted a distinctive style of Americana noted for its lush harmonies and soulful, acoustic rhythms. Playing at festivals and shows across the region, the band is both raucous and melodic, making music that goes from foot stomping to haunting. Switching instruments frequently, the five members of The Iris Bell use their range to bring a fresh sound to the world of indie folk. The band formed in 2013.
Jess and George met at party in 2009, with their spontaneous duet of the Prince song, «Pussy Control». Soon after that they formed a band around a principle of originality and ruthless editing of their work. The name of the band draws inspiration from southern author William Faulkner who would tell his writing students that 'sometimes in writing you must strangle your darlings'.
Jess is a trained classical violinist but picked up cello and discovered that she was actually a bass player. George found his degree in English Lit pays better as an indie musician and so learned the mandolin. They have written and toured as a full band but once they decided to tour the US full time and in a 20 foot RV, there was only enough extra room for the little dog.
The music is built on deep sense of rhythm and groove, carried by George on mandolin and Jess on custom tenor bass & foot drums. His mandolin bursts out in a slalom of notes and snare drum rhythms. Her solid body custom tenor bass weaves an intricate counter melody and her feet pound a percussive groove. The voices and the lyrics are the hidden third member of the band and the story behind the music. The songs work with nontraditional subjects for inspiration. Some song subjects include: the works of great authors (Faulkner, William Blake, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Donald Bartheleme, Anna Ahkmatova) as well as witchcraft in the Civil War, the morality of Somali piracy and the media impact of Neil Armstrong.
Strangled Darlings have released 3 full length albums and one EP, receiving critical praise from local and national press alike. In between touring, they live in South Londonderry, Vermont.
The DC-based quartet Ballad Of draws its influences from a deep well of both traditional and contemporary musical styles including early blues, Appalachian old-time, experimental classical, and shape-note hymnody. Their music intertwines close vocal harmonies with finger-style guitar (Margaret Wasaff), clawhammer banjo (Anders Fahey), cello/fiddle (Jonathan Een Newton), and a range of rhythmic styles performed on a mixture of both traditional and non-traditional percussion instruments including a suitcase drum kit (Manny Arciniega).