Harpeth Rising will make their second Sundilla appearance on Friday, April 10; showtime is 7:30 at the AUUF. Admission at the door is $15, but advance tickets are just $12 and can be purchased at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com.
Harpeth Rising chose to name themselves after a river because water is both dynamic and powerful. These words also describe the music created by the three women: Jordana Greenberg (violin, vocals), Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo, vocals) and Maria Di Meglio (cello, vocals.) Unapologetic genre-benders, they fuse folk, newgrass, rock and classical into a sound that is originally unique.
Hallmarks of their music include expansive three-part harmonies, consummate musicianship and a deft, yet soulful lyrical perspective. Harpeth Rising’s roots run deep—from their varied ancestry across Eastern Europe to the musical hotbed of the mid-South they now call home, they weave together ancient and modern ideas, creating a sound that is both familiar and impossible to categorize.
“We don’t set out to create something different, we just write in a way that is true to ourselves while trying to always expand and explore the new influences in our lives,” says Greenberg. “We’re aware of genre divisions, we’re just not bound by them.”
After meeting at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where all three members earned performance degrees, Harpeth Rising began on a cross-country road trip. Inspired by a summer spent jamming at campsites and attending folk and bluegrass festivals, Greenberg and Reed-Lunn decided to pursue a slightly different path than their classical backgrounds would suggest. They began writing original songs and performing 4 to 5 nights a week, developing their sound and their repertoire. It was with the addition of Di Meglio that the lineup was complete, and the three women piled into a Prius and began to tour.
Despite the presence of only three string instrument son stage, Harpeth Rising produces a profusion of sound generally created by a much larger ensemble. Di Meglio transitions fluidly between providing the bass line and taking the melodic lead, while Reed-Lunn’s highly original style of claw-hammer banjo – learned mainly by watching YouTube—is both surprisingly lyrical and intensely driving. Greenberg takes on the role of concert violinist and accompanist with equal facility, and ensures that a lead guitar is never missed.
From breathtaking energy to intimate connection, their live performances are kinetic events in which their passion and their abilities re equally displayed. Harpeth Rising can create a listening room from a rowdy bar crowd, and can inspire even the weariest of audiences. After only a few months as a band, they embarked on a tour of England, which included a performance with the Bath Philharmonia. They were invited to perform at The Cambridge Folk Festival the following summer, and have since played festivals across England and the United States, including the Kerrville Folk Festival, ROMPfest, Blissfest, The Fylde Folk Festival, The Purbeck Folk Festival and dozens more. Building their fan base in the tradition of all wandering minstrels – passionately and by word of mouth – they now perform to sold-out audiences internationally.
They have released four albums in as many years—Harpeth Rising (2010), Dead Man’s Hand (2011), The End of the World (2012) and Tales From Jackson Bridge (2013.) Their fifth album, Shifted, is set to release in early 2015.
Harpeth Rising’s only other trip to this area resulted in a standing-room only concert that has had people clamoring for their return ever since. So be there for their second Sundilla appearance on Friday, April 10; showtime is 7:30 at the AUUF. Admission at the door is $15, but advance tickets are just $12 and can be purchased at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. There will be free coffee, tea, water and food available, but attendees are welcome to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.