Thursday, September 08, 2011

Musician Interview - The Yellow Kites

Time for another of drive-by interview.  These are intended to be an introduction to an artist, not their whole life story.

Today we get to talk with The Yellow Kites, a husband and wife team composed of Kendall and Erina Ludwig.

Erina was gracious enough to answer my questions for the both of them.

Because some music fans are gearheads...
Q: What guitar/dulcimer/harmonium/harmonica/instruments are you playing the most these days? Maker and model preferred.

Our instruments are:
We play a Larrivee L03R. Good ol' Canadian piece that didn't like the heat down in Florida. Seriously so.

We play a traditional hour glass mountain dulcimer with maple top mahogany sides. It's handmade so there aren't any model numbers. It's made by Bill Berg with Mountain Made Music in Nashville, IN.

I play Hohner harmonicas. My G key is the Silver Star (I'm still at the beginning side of things) model no: M50403. My C key is the Golden Melody one (ditto) model no. has faded but I think it's M542016.

The harmonium I play is from Calcutta, India (much more affordable to order it and have it shipped to the States) made by a company called Pakrashi. The model I have is: Pakrashi 3.5 octave portable harmonium and it stunk horribly when we first got it. And it still does sometimes. Something about the wood.

Because inquiring minds want to know...
Q: What are you actively listening to? What music is inspiring you? Yes, this is your typical, what's in the CD player, ipod, etc question. But, it isn't a "If you could be a tree, what tree would you be?" question.

Hard one this as we're on the road so are literally making our way through everything on our iPods. Let's start with Kendall:

Bon Iver, Jonsi (from Sigur Ros- Iceland's major music exporter)- who he's currently listening to.

Jakob Dylan, Shawn Mullins, David Gray, Dispatch, The Swell Season, The Decembrists and Damien Rice give inspiration.

As for me:

Brooke Fraser, Lisa Hannigan, Marketa Irglova, The Frames, Damien Rice, Cat Power, The Swell Season, Jakob Dylan are some of whom I'm listening to.

Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Fleet Foxes, The Swell Season, Lisa Hannigan and Brooke Fraser inspire me.

Trust me there are tons more but we'll never stop otherwise.

Future Plans...
Q: What are you currently working on? Recording/shows/tour/writing/etc.

Ahhh future plans. We're on tour until near the end of Sept when we'll be back in Indianapolis. Got a huge gig in Indy on the 10th Sept at the Irving Theater so getting ready for that :) feel free to invite everyone you know.

We just finished recording what I'm calling a mini- EP (title to be decided) of a few tunes of sacred music. Being on tour and playing in churches has been such a privilege and we tried to capture some of it in Jamestown, NY just this Labor Day. It's like a taster of more things to come so keep a keen ear out!

We're also crafting some new songs with quite a different feel to our debut album. Some more jazzy, others more bluesy. Very electric and exciting. Early days yet so can't report much about it.

What's my connection to The Yellow Kites?  A few weeks ago they did a small show at our church.  It was Saturday night, a back to school kick off event for our youth group.  Kendall and Nick, our youth pastor, are very good friends.  Nick had invited them for the concert and to be part of our worship services the next morning.  They had a gig at the Preservation Pub in Knoxville on Monday.

I took Angie and Caroline to the Saturday night show.  Edison was already there.  It was a casual setting and for an hour and a half they played, sang, talked, and shared themselves with the small audience.  I was taken by their joy.  Their music is simple on the surface, but has a depth to it.  On Saturday I purchased their self titled album.  I was going to say "CD", but it is a "high-quality, wild-flower embedded download card".  Sunday morning I purchased Erina's book, Unnoticed Neighbors: A Pilgrimage into the Social Justice Story.  Musicians, author, beautiful people.

Want to know more about The Yellow Kites?  You can find them on Facebook, MySpace, their official site, and Twitter.

Want to know more about Erina's book?  You can view the Unnoticed Neighbors' video trailer, read a sample chapter, or purchase it.

I suggest you do all of them.

No comments: