PRESENTED BY STEPHANIE ROBALINO
Calliope Musicals began as the musical love child of singers Carrie Fussell and Philadelphian Matt Roth (affectionately known by native-Texan Carrie as "Yankee"). In search of organic peace in a world of electronic wahs and be-bops, the two recorded "Red Balloon" in Matt's studio apartment in 2008. Their chemistry was undeniable, and their passion for the music gave them an instant friendship. Aft...er attending a life changing performance by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros together at 2009's SXSW and dancing holes into the bottom of their feet, they knew that there was no choice but to pursue a musical career together.
In search of "general merrymakers," the two happened upon Craig "The Funk" Finkelstein: vibraphone player extraordinaire. Never having heard of a vibraphone, the two immediately decided the instrument (as well as the Funk himself), should become an indispensable part of the band. Although Craig was sure he had found his niche as the top seller in a kissing booth, he decided to give the Musicals a shot. And so they happily bumbled along as a three-piece band of misfits.
The threesome decided that while they were stunning alone, it did prove problematic that no one in the band could actually keep a beat. This is when they met Jason Martin: the human metronome. (That was actually his job title back during his days in the local freak show—don't judge; times were hard.) When Jason kept insisting that the group practice while wearing funny hats, they knew that they absolutely couldn't live without him and his brilliant ideas.
Meanwhile, everyone knows the "spine is the bass line," and with no spine to hold them up, the band was simply a floppy, spineless, noodle band. Deciding that this was unacceptable, the Musicals challenged another local band to a duel. The prize? The wickedest bass player in all the land: Ben Aiken. Needless to say, because the duel was judged on good looks, dance moves, and all-around excellence, the Musicals won Ben Aiken and his magnificent bass playing abilities, despite his adamant claim that "he was not a prize to be won."
So now, though the Calliope Musicals are still a band of misfits, they're happiest misfits you've yet to see. The music makes them happy, makes them alive, and makes them free. And it's rumored that when you listen to their music, you can instantly become a part of their happy, free, and alive world. The new and current line-up of the Musicals gives their once pure folk sound a faint tinge of rock and roll, and indie vibes mixed with a little bit of almost every genre out there creates a sound totally unique to this band. Their live performances have an energy that puts them in a league above most other folk-rooted troops, and the songs generate a happy sensation not found in most other indie/rock bands. After seeing them at one of their debut performances in Austin, Texas at Threadgill's, Western Homes said they "sound like big ol' state fair, country rock entertainers," and entertain you they will. They emulate an energy that cannot be replicated even in the best recordings, and they have a sound that leaves listeners with no choice but to fall in love.
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Audio and video production by Capital Media Corp. Austin, TX
Producer - Joe Lynch. Sound Engineers - Nick Smith and Doug Dewey