We received several Press Releases via the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce regarding upcoming shows at The Red Line Tap in Rogers Park. As part of our Press Release services at Bill Morton Promotions...
The following is an upcoming performance by The Stray Birds with the Mudflapps & The Mike Meo Trio Tuesday, April 16 at 8 pm.
The Red Line Tap
7006 N. Glenwood
Chicago, IL 60626
773 274-5463 or 773 465 –8005
Tuesday, April 16 at 8 pm
The Stray Birds with the Mudflapps & The Mike Meo Trio
7.00 Adv / 10.00 Night Of Show
The Stray Birds
Drawing upon the richness of American folk music traditions, the signature power of The Stray Birds sound lies in outstanding songwriting that soars in three-part harmony. Raised on music within a few miles of farmland from each other, The Stray Birds were born of a compelling collaboration between two unique writers and vocalists-- the pure, luxurious voice of Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven's richness of tone and depth of delivery. Grounding their sound in the unshakeable groove of bassist Charles Muench, The Stray Birds are a trio of captivating chemistry and sensitive musicality. From bustling street corners to silent halls, their performances speak to an uncompromising reverence for songs.
With miles of music already behind them, Maya and Oliver first shared a song in January 2010, in their hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Maya had just returned from Europe, where she’d been traveling by bike and train, making her way as a fiddling street performer. Oliver had been criss-crossing North America for two years as a harmony vocalist, fiddler, and guitarist for the Grammy-nominated Americana artist Adrienne Young. His repertoire of original songs had been deepening along the way.
A snowy Pennsylvania winter welcomed collaboration between two such wanderers— and inspired the collection of seven songs found on the Borderland EP. With their good friend Charles laying down the bass lines, The Stray Birds landed their sound. Their love of travel, however, has hardly waned. An ambitious touring schedule reflects their embrace of the experience of live music. “Music exists in a time and place, not just in a digital format,” says Charles. Reveling in the energy of each room, a connection to the audience is the essence of their show. Often singing into a single microphone, their sound is a raw resonance of wood and strings beneath three joyfully blended voices.
Their tangible passion for acoustic music is certainly a testament to three musically rich childhoods. Shortly after beginning classical violin lessons, Oliver began performing on the fiddle alongside his parents in the Craven Family Band. Their repertoire of folk, bluegrass, and country tunes included many of his father’s original songs. Maya first performed during “show & tell” in kindergarten. She strummed three chords on a tiny guitar and sang Iris DeMent’s “Our Town”—one of the songs in frequent rotation in the family car. She took piano lessons with her grandmother, who was a gifted composer. And alongside public school violin lessons, she learned fiddle tunes from her father, who performed in several local bands. The highlight of each year was the family's annual trip to West Virginia's Appalachian String Band Music Festival.
Inspired by his bass-playing father, Charles started bass lessons in a public elementary school string program. As he gained fluency on this large and versatile instrument, his passion and interest in music education heightened—culminating in a Music Education degree from West Chester University. In the midst of this classical music education, Charles found another musical outlet—a weekly bluegrass pick in the woodshed of a nearby horse farm. “When the bridge wasn’t out, it was only 4 or 5 miles to Joe’s house,” Charles remembers. While his college music courses focused on the technical and theoretical aspects of music, “playing music with Joe was more about the spirit—and the social nature of music.” Joe also called upon Charles to work up another skill that he would carry with him—bluegrass harmony singing.
Drawn to a region saturated by traditional music, Maya began at the University of North Carolina- Asheville, but left after one restless semester. During her travels, she became startled by the poetry she discovered in the songs of Townes Van Zandt and began listening to songs with fresh intent. For someone who had loved songs for as long as she could remember, “suddenly, writing songs seemed inevitable,” she says. She spent a year and half at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied under Mark Simos, Darol Anger, and John McGann. She has since received national recognition for her songwriting, including 4th place in the 2011 Telluride Troubadour Competition and 3rd place in the BMI/John Lennon Scholarship Awards.
Oliver also struck a balance in his musical education. Upon graduating high school he turned down several football scholarships, picked up the mandolin and guitar, and headed to Philadelphia to attend Temple University. While studying African American Literature and History, he wrote songs, played a few open mics, and began to record his original music. After three years, he realized that what he wanted to learn wasn’t within the hallways of a university, but rather along the roadways of North America. “I can do my learning in the front seat of a Subaru while crossing state lines,” Oliver says. “I listen to people I like, and then find the people they like, and then pay attention to that.” Experience has served him well—he has logged thousands of miles, played in forty states and four countries, and played for honky-tonks, folk festivals, and listening rooms. “I think music is the best thing about our country,” Oliver insists. “It is undeniable that if nothing else, we sure figured out how to make good music.”