Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Serious Moonlight
. . . .

Serious Moonlight

Kristi Kates - March 14th, 2011
Serious Moonlight... Moonlight Red brings a mix of instruments & influences
By Kristi Kates
Talking to Laren Corie and Donna Klein of Moonlight Red, one gets the
impression that they’ve been performing together for a very long time; but
in reality, they’ve only been working together for about a year, and had
to follow quite the twisting road to find each other’s work.
You’ll find that dynamic at work this Saturday when the duo perform at a
veterans fundraiser in Petoskey.
Klein moved Up North from Florida in 2005, and began rebuilding her music
career by performing locally. Living in rural Northern Michigan, Klein
explains, “can be isolating,” so the prospect of being able to connect
with other professional musicians was appealing.
Meanwhile, fellow musician Corie was working on his own goals, performing
solo, although it wasn’t something he particularly enjoyed - and he and
Klein had yet to meet.
“I didn’t like performing solo because I couldn’t use my skills as an
accompanist, such as arranging, harmony vocals, and playing various
instruments,” he explains, “I also do not have the right stage presence
for a solo musician - I love the interaction on stage with other
musicians, and I especially enjoy the dynamics of a duo. So I was really
on a perpetual quest for the right duo partner - I even toured the East
Coast, and spent some time in Nashville, constantly looking.”

POSTPONED BEGINNINGS
Back to Klein, who explains that she worked for a while with another local
pro musician, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
“We weren’t moving in the same direction,” she says simply.
Klein was scheduled to play for the closing of the 40 Mile Point
Lighthouse in October of 2009. Corie ran across the listing for the show
on the internet, and after looking up Donna’s musical credentials, thought
it might be interesting to play some music together.
“Then, she didn’t show up at the jam,” Corie says.
“I was unable to attend,” Klein explains, “unknown to me, Laren was
looking for someone local to connect with, and went to the gig to meet
me.”
The pair didn’t actually meet until last spring - a fateful day when they
met up at Chandler Park in Onaway to chat about the possibilities.
“We connected right away, and played music the whole afternoon,” Klein
says. “Our musics were very compatible, and singing together is
wonderful,” Corie agrees.
“And that was the beginning of Moonlight Red,” Klein says.

MANY INFLUENCES
Moonlight Red are perhaps best described as a folk group, although their
individual influences vary widely - and they’ve often been compared
vocally and harmonically to a stripped-down Fleetwood Mac.
“There is hardly a type of music that does not influence me,” Corie says,
“I was one of those weird musical children who listened to ‘Rhapsody in
Blue.’ Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ totally fascinated me. I took up mandolin because
there was one around the house; the result of growing up as a mandolin
player in Motown, with its hard-driving rock and roll, keeps me floating
between worlds, especially with Indian and Arabic influences. And my
influences for my harmonica style are a mix of bluegrass, Coltrane, Jeff
Beck, and Alvin Lee.”
Meanwhile, Klein’s musical favorites are clustered a little closer together.
“My main influence is the progressive movement of the 1970s,” she says.
“My favorite artist is David Bowie because of the variety of sounds he’s
explored through the years. I listen to all kinds of music and those
influences can be found in the songs I write - blues, power acoustic,
rock, jazz, and sometimes a twist of torch - one of our songs is even
influenced by the Stray Cats. I like to put my influences in the music
blender and see what comes out.”

ONSTAGE MIX
Both musicians sing, and each have their own writing style - they’ve yet
to write any songs together, but say that they complement each others’
work “very nicely.” Corie is a multi-instrumentalist, so in addition to
the guitars you’ll see on stage during a Moonlight Red performance, you
might also see (and hear) his famed mandolin playing, harmonica, violin,
an instrument that Corie has developed himself called a “giant mandolin,”
and possibly even flute, which Klein plays on occasion. It’s an eclectic
mix that adds a lot of depth to their performances.
“We will bring the full array of instruments to the show,” Corie says,
“and lots of variety in songs, which will be almost all written by Donna
and myself.”

Moonlight Red will be performing at the Petoskey American Legion’s Benefit
for Veterans on Saturday March 19 at 6 p.m. at 455 Bay Street in Petoskey
- an open mic show will follow. Attendees are asked to bring a
non-perishable food item for the food bank.

 
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