Detroit Folk Workshop w/ Lac La Belle

Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ 5:30 pm to 7:30pm

Friday, November 11 / 5:30 to 7:30pm / Free
Lac La Belle (Americana/Folk)

Lac La Belle is an acoustic duo from Detroit, Michigan, made up of multi-instrumentalists and songwriters Jennie Knaggs & Nick Schillace. Influenced by early Americana, the music of Lac La Belle seamlessly blends history with the present, to create stories that capture the human experience. Lac La Belle offer it with expertise, via accordion, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, harmonizing vocals, and fingerpicking resonator guitar.

What sets this acoustic duo apart is their utilization of their varied experiences; Schillace has a separate career performing his instrumental guitar pieces, and he wrote the first academic work on the recordings of John Fahey; Knaggs has history with New Music compositions and improvisations, including her vocal work in Matthew Barney’s film “River of Fundament”. With separate experiences learning folk and blues in Appalachia, American roots binds the duo’s compositions with a heavy thread.

With the release of their third album, “A Friend Too Long”, (October 2014), Lac La Belle elaborate upon their cohesive duo, with the addition of upright bass, pump organ, piano, percussion and strings. Written in a secluded cabin in Michigan’s upper peninsula, and recorded in their Detroit home during the snowiest winter on record, “A Friend Too Long” animates the lives of fictional characters grappling with the tensions between the urban and the rural, the individual and the community, economic decay and the land of plenty.

The group has completed six tours of the mid-west, south and east, and has completed two European tours in 2012, 2013, with a third slated for 2015. Their performance styles vary to the venue, often including their arrangements of old time, 1920’s western swing, Dixieland, folk and blues tunes.

Notable appearances include
Hiawatha Festival (Marquette, MI)
Ann Arbor Summer Festival, (Ann Arbor, MI)
Dally in the Alley, (Detroit MI);
Whofest (Chattanooga, TN),
The Chicago Calling Festival (Chicago, IL)
The Avant Fairfax Festival (Fairfax, VA),
Showcase artist at Folk Alliance Mid West (FARM) (St. Louis, MO)
American Autumn series, Orense, Spain
Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour broadcast (Lexington, KY)

JENNIE KNAGGS mined folk music first hand, meeting and playing with musicians of Central and Southern Appalachia during her course of travel and advocacy work in the region. She is the 2000 Hollerin’ Champion of Wise Co., Virginia and Letcher Co., Kentucky, has studied opera and has toured Europe in various vocal ensembles, including a residency in Labro, Italy in 2011. She continues to sing with the fifteen piece Odu Afrobeat Orchestra, composes and performs in a microtonal duo with pianist Clem Fortuna, and teaches voice privately and in workshops. Knaggs is the principal vocalist in Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler’s new film, “River of Fundament”, which features several of her original compositions, including “The Hovering of the Khu” and “The Ballad of the Bullfighter”.

NICK SCHILLACE is recognized as a solo instrumentalist who has contributed to the American Primitive guitar canon with his releases Box Canyon (2005) and Landscape and People (2008.) Raised by folk and blues enthusiasts, he acquired early training at Augusta Heritage in Elkins, West Virginia. Other recent work includes tenor guitar in Odu Afrobeat Orchestra, tenor banjo in the Dixieland group Detroit Pleasure Society. Schillace has toured with other fingerpicking greats, including Bert Jansch, Peter Lang, Jack Rose, Keenan Lawler, Eric Carbonara and Glenn Jones. Considered an authority on early 20th century American fingerpicking guitar styles, Nick is sought after as an instructor both privately and in workshop settings, and is the owner of Orion Music Studio in Lake Orion, Michigan.