Andrew & Casey

Andrew Calhoun & Casey Calhoun

Andrew & Casey
photo by Jenifer Jordan

 

 

Song, Poetry and Motion

 

Veteran Chicago area folksinger/songwriter Andrew Calhoun is joined in performance by his daughter Casey, adding vocals and interpretive dance. Casey's pure, distinctive voice takes the lead on songs by artists from Anais Mitchell to Frank Loesser, and adds new dimensions of harmony and call-and-response to Calhoun originals, Scottish ballads and folksongs, and rare 19th century African-American spirituals. Casey, an accomplished dancer, moves to Mary Oliver's poetry and Dave Carter's music in this striking, joyful combination of complementary talents.

Casey Calhoun has studied dance at Dance Center Evanston, Gus Giordano Dance Studio, and Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle. She performed with Dan Bern in July 2006 on the mainstage at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

Andrew Calhoun writes with a paradoxical combination of incandescent intellect and unstudied magic. He is both a lightning rod for "the unconscious rightness of intuitive connection" and a perpetual student of songcraft with deep respect for both tradition and innovation. In the thirty-odd years that he has been a songwriter and performer he has created an impressive collection of songs from which he draws in live performances. On stage he is disarmingly unpretentious, spontaneous, insightful and darkly witty. Andrew has since toured internationally, performing at folk clubs and festivals, pubs and house concerts. Calhoun founded Waterbug Records, an artists' cooperative folk label which has grown to 70 titles, bringing some of the brightest singer-songwriters and folk musicians to an international audience. His own recordings have been released on Hogeye, Flying Fish and Waterbug Records.

Andrew & Casey are sometimes accompanied by bassist Gary Cleland. A lifelong Chicagoan, Gary is classically trained. He studied at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, as well as privately, with current and former members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera, with noted professionals such as Warren Benefield, Joe Guasafeste, Jim Palacek and Brian Ferguson. Early in his career, Gary performed in the Chicago Lyric Opera, Basically Bach Baroque Ensemble, number of the city and regional symphonic orchestras, various music ensembles, including pit orchestras for many of the musicals that came through Chicago's top-rated theaters. The classical music background has benefited his extremely varied tastes in music today. From a world folk ensemble, pop bands, a folk music ensemble, this seems to suit the many styles of music he stays involved with.

" I have known Andrew for many years and have enjoyed hearing him play from time to time, but this - his playing with his daughter - is all fresh and new, and I loved it. These musicians are gifted at their craft and each brings to the other's singing a lovely balance and power. The music is both light and dark, giddy and somber, but always accomplished. Andrew is well known for his profound songwriting ability. His songs - some brand new, some old and well loved - always represent who he is and what is grabbing at him at the moment. Currently Andrew is very taken with an old book of songs he has recently discovered that were sung by those held in slavery. While this is a grim chapter in our history books, the music that Andrew is playing from this era is full of hope and interwoven with a profound and enlightening spiritual connection. Some of us may already recognize some of these tunes, of which he will play several, and he will also teach the audience a chorus or two so we all can learn a bit of this wonderful music. Casey is a delight - her voice is clear and crisp, her dancing is interpretive to a song or poem recited by her dad, and her daughter's banter with her father made me laugh. Casey has only recently started traveling with her dad but she obviously has been singing with him for her whole life. Their connected harmonies show the audience how well matched they are as singing partners, and her solo numbers are truly gripping and delightful."
- Reverend Blair Hull, Stained Glass Coffeehouse

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