I'm pretty sure I just invented a new word: spolk. It's a combination of spoken word and folk music, which is just one way of describing what the musical, poetic, spiritual, gracious, and fabulous duo The Sirens generate for audiences.
The Sirens are Kri Martin and Hettie Mays, self-described Baptist girls from Louisville. (For the record, I find them far more spiritual than religious, but that's just me.) They put on an energetic and funny show and recently released a full-length CD called Chasin' the Sun. I heard them the first time at a house concert series called Indy Indie. They've performed at a number of venues, including the National Women's Music Festival. While Hettie sings and plays guitar, Kri weaves poetry — and also sings/raps/recites — throughout, making for a delicious kind of collaboration that shows off their talents well.
The Sirens performed last night in Bloomington at The Blue Room, a "semi-underground house concert series and occasional bakery," which was started by residents Carolyn VandeWiele and Janice Rickert. Wildly talented poet Chi Sherman opened for the duo, who put on a two-hour show bisected by a buffet of desserts (lemon cheesecake for the win!). I love that The Sirens are free on stage, free to dance and communicate, drawing on the energy of the crowd and giving back more and more. Partners on stage and in real life, they are young and fresh and have a palpable chemistry which adds depth to their love songs. From the aptly-titled "Love Song":
"I love catching your eyes
in crowded spaces
hearing your voice in a sea of faces
I can just feel my prayers flow through
A choir of angels singing holy graces
since I asked for love and was granted two
the love of myself and the love of you
I got the love of you... the love of you."
The Sirens are headed for a three-week tour in Paris soon. You can follow their adventures at http://sirensinthewoods.com, where you can also hear samples of their work. Performances at The Blue Room have concluded for 2010, but will be back early next year. Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Check out Hettie and Kri singing "Thank You" (*cough* it's on their CD) in the video below, a song they were asked to write to bridge the gap between generations of women who were attending National last year. I love them and I hope you do too.