Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Concert at the Coffehouse, Nov 21

The Coffee House in Milwaukee is a long-running folk venue. Located in the hall of Redeemer Lutheran Church at 631 N. 19th St, it has been hosting local and visiting performers on weekend nights since about 1967. The space is very informal, furnished with donated seating, but with decent lighting and sound system. We went there Friday night for the concert, which featured Susan Urban and Strong Voices, with our friends local filkers Deirdre Murphy and Art Warneke "opening".

Deirdre and Art are wonderful people and good performers. Neither one has what would be called a classically beautiful voice (which can be said of most folk singers), but they can sing on key, and Deirdre especially can manage a very penetrating power. They are both fine musicians, and have the quirky humorous style that is a hallmark of the filker. They did a good set of both original and cover material and the comparatively few strangers in the audience seemed to enjoy it. (The majority of the audience were members of the Milwaukee filk community.)

Susan Urban is a regular at Ohio Valley Filk Fest and has performed at "Barb's Basement," (our filk venue), and so was known to many also, although new to Georgie and I. When performing as "Strong Voices," Chicago-based Urban is joined by mother-daughter duo Kathryn and Caitlin Morski from the U.P., and on this evening were also joined by Wisconsin native Karen Mooney. All are singer-song writers, and these performances run a lot more like a filk circle than a standard concert. The Morskis. Urban, and Mooney took turns in rotation performing their own pieces, with the others joining in to accompany the various leads. We were treated to a variety of songs and styles that ranged through sweet, sad, thoughtful, funny, and spooky (Urban particularly likes ghost story songs), with a bent toward feminist and pacifist, which sat well with the assembled company. The group and many of the audience probably went back to the Letterman's for more after, but Georgie and I called it a night.
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