Twin Cities native and LaCrosse favorite Siri Undlin of Humbird recently was named to the prestigious 2021 Kerrville New Folk list whose past winners are household names like James McMurtry, David Wilcox, John Gorka, Robert Earle Keen Jr., Johnsmith, and Lucy Wainwright Roche. Dave Schipper, the Great River Folk Fest chair, sat down to talk to her about that and other news plus she had fun with the Great River Folksinger Factoid survey since she is booked for the August 27-29th fest coming up at Riverside Park.
First up, why does she describe herself as “Experimental Folk”? Siri said it’s more of a warning sign to traditionalists that they are going to be blending in jazz and electronics into what might normally be called acoustic folk music. Her bandmates Pat Keen on bass and Peter Quirsfeld on percussion move smoothly between instruments and have a knack of finding space for texture in the soft moments, and wild abandoned energy in the raucous crescendos.
Next she was honored to be chosen by Kerrville, and she excited for her first trip to Texas. The festival is normally held in May but it has moved to October this year because of the covid. Recently it was in the news because it is mandating you must have a vaccination proof to attend the festival. Let’s hope she doesn’t fall in love with Austin Texas so we keep her in the Midwest.
During her factoid survey a few notable highlights were while she has visited Dave’s Guitar Shop numerous times, she’s never noticed the Giant Six Pack. Joni Mitchell was her legend choice which in part vindicated how Dave describes her music, “Innovative chord progressions and beautiful vocal range similar to Joni’s early music.” Finally in the question about framing a lyric, she described the lyrics of her pandemic song, “On the day we are together again” has been requested several times in print format for framing. It’s a song that was recorded for her next record. The initial release was this video that has a unique accidental noise that Dave asked her about, and in a house that was filled with pets and people, it was special to get it that quiet.
Siri and Dave have been friends for a while, since he first hosted her and Luke Callen for his house concert series Feb 2018 Bluff View Concerts in Holmen WI. Recently Dave announced they are booked as an fourth anniversary of such for Feb 18th 2022. Here the are covering a great folk tune, Green Rocky Road.
What’s next? Well her agent said that they are working on a UK tour. Maybe never miss a chance to see her because we believe her venues will get bigger and bigger each year.
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