Walker Art Center and Liquid Music present
SHOWTUNES, THE BIBLE
Friday-Saturday, September 23-24, 2022
HIS SONG IS SUNG
LITTLE BLACK BOXES
A MAJOR MINOR DRAG
DYLAN AT THE MOUSE TRAP
A CHEF’S KISS
POLICE DOG BLUES
Keyboard, Samples, Beats, Turntables, Guitar
Horns (Horns Arranger/Director)
Acoustic, Electric Bass
ROD KELLY HINES
Tenor (Vocals Arranger/Director)
PAUL JOHN RUDOI
How Lambchop Found Creative Inspiration in Minneapolis
The Nashville indie legend recently talked to music writer Steve Marsh about his sixteenth album and why he came to the Twin Cities to record it. An excerpt from Marsh's interview is below; read the rest at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
In the middle of 2020, back when everybody was afraid to be together, my buddy Drew Christopherson and I would stay up late, texting back and forth, waiting for our friend Andrew Broder to play Wurlitzer from his basement on Instagram Live. There was a regular virtual audience for these unscheduled, late night pop up performances, always just Broder improvising some jazz piano on his Wurli, sometimes under some weird color block lighting, but it was never more than a few dozen people. The livestreaming comment section was the closest any of us would dare come to a speakeasy environment, just hanging out and shouting out usernames that we recognized, all of us watching the show together. In addition to me and Drew, one of the other more regular lurkers was Kurt Wagner, better known as Lambchop, the Nashville indie legend.
Now the fact that Wagner was a regular lurker wasn’t totally random, because a few years earlier, Drew and Broder and I had met Lambchop in person, back in 2018, in Berlin at Justin Vernon’s PEOPLE music festival. Drew was a huge Lambchop fan—he had been playing me Wagner’s albums at every opportunity for years, but he kept it together around the guy he was beginning to refer to as just “Kurt,” which was easy to do. Wagner’s presence was a wonderful sort of eminence grise at the festival, always kind of hiding under a trucker hat, always chainsmoking Vantages, always willing to bring his gentle southern drawl to conversations about books or art or politics in between the constant musical improvising going on that week at the Funkhaus, an old GDR radio production campus in East Berlin. Wagner is a humble guy, and when you get to know him, you realize that his humility isn’t a put on, that his softspokenness and his hiding-under-his-trucker-hat reticence is actually rooted in an almost paralyzing but somehow completely charming self-doubt. After the festival, we continued to keep in touch with him, and sometime before the pandemic Broder ended up playing a little piano on Lambchop’s 2021 anti-showtunes album, Showtunes.
In the summer of 2021, when we could see people in person again, Wagner came to Minneapolis to record a new Lambchop album with Broder and another Minneapolis musician who had been with us in Berlin, the producer of Poliça and Gayngs, Ryan Olson. By that point, it was clear that there was something about our Minneapolis music scene that had really captured Wagner’s imagination. That imagination has now produced, with Broder and Olson credited as co-producers, Lambchop’s 16th album, The Bible. Talking to Wagner now, he’s very open with the fact that these new musical relationships in Minneapolis were crucial to him, because as he was nearing the end of Lambchop’s third decade in Nashville, Wagner felt musically isolated. Many of his old bandmates were either long gone or uninterested in touring anymore. He questioned whether making music even made economic sense. He was actually considering getting a job at the grocery store down the road. “I feel weird because I’m going to be 64, dude,” he says in between drags on a cigarette, on the phone from his home in Nashville. “What the fuck am I doing?” The Bible is the sound of Kurt Wagner looking backwards and forwards, asking this and all the other big questions. And on Friday and Saturday night, he’s going to be debuting the new album at the McGuire Theater at the Walker Art Center, with his new cohort, Broder and Olson, conducting the group of players who will bring it all to life. Drew and I will be watching, obviously, but first, I took a couple hours to talk to my new friend about how this project came together, and how it’s different from the 15 albums that came before it.
I met you in 2018, in Berlin at Justin Vernon’s second PEOPLE happening at the Michelberger Hotel. Was that the first time you played music with Ryan Olson and Andrew Broder?
I knew a pretty good amount about Justin [Vernon’s] story at that point because I’m a huge fan of what he’s done. I ran into him on the road with his drummer Matthew [McCaughan] on one of their first big Euro tours and we hung out for a night. He was dealing with growing pains in a big band and all that stuff, and here I was, the guy who’d been dealing with it all this time. We had a lot in common already. We lost touch for a while until Berlin. I’ve always been in awe of what he did, but I didn’t know all the crew that was involved in all of that, and it just blew my mind. Everybody was so open, and giving, and generous, and nice, and very, very good at what they do, and worked hard as a motherfucker, man. You guys work hard up there, man.
So how did you actually start working with Ryan and Broder?
it just happened a little bit at a time. Because of Ryan coming down and doing the Swamp Dogg record in Nashville, I got to hang with him more. So I went up to Minneapolis just to see what was going on when Broder was doing one of his residency things at First Avenue. I would joke around and call it a fact-finding mission, but it really was. I wanted to find out more about what was happening there. I was just knocked out by how tight everybody was, and just how totally supportive of each other you were. That is not a Nashville vibe, man. It isn’t. It’s very unique.
Read the full interview at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
About the Artists
LAMBCHOP began in the 1990s, at the time pronouncing itself “Nashville’s most fucked-up country band.” Provocative it may have been, but the description made sense: at the heart of all that ruckus was a band at once defying and embracing the musical legacy of its hometown. Since then, Lambchop has evolved into an accomplished ensemble, adding palpable depth and substance to singer-songwriter-guitarist Kurt Wagner’s songs. Their unclassifiable hybrid of country, soul, jazz, and avant-garde noise seemed at one time or another to drink from every conceivable tributary of contemporary music, its Baroque beauty all held together by the surreal lyrical wit and droll vocal presence of frontman Wagner.
ANDREW BRODER has dedicated the better part of his life to carving out a singular path in music and art. A life-long resident of Minneapolis, MN, Andrew has done time as a cutting battle DJ, challenging and thoughtful improviser, soundtrack composer, working sideman, producer, remixer, beat-maker, poet, beauty creator, brutal noise-monger and above all a fearless, restless and provocative songwriter. In recent years, he has been more productive than ever, expanding his circle of connected artists even wider, and expanding his sensibilities into the visual realm as a painter. His work is a study in surprise and defying expectation. With his records as Fog, he re-defined the turntable as a compositional tool, and his contributions since to hip-hop, avant rock, pop and electronic music have been equally engaging, and envelope-pushing. He has released records on renowned indie labels, such as Ninja Tune, Lex and Totally Gross National Product, and worked with an incredibly wide ranging cast of artists, such as Bon Iver, Polica, Marijuana Deathsquads, Dua Saleh, FPA, Armand Hammer, Serengeti, The National, Dave King and countless others.
After graduating from The Juilliard School with a degree in Classical Trumpet Performance, C.J. CAMERIERI began working in alternative music as the Trumpet player, French Horn player, and keyboardist for Sufjan Stevens in January of 2006. He then went on to tour the world as a member of Rufus Wainwright’s band in 2007-2008 before founding yMusic in the spring of 2008. CJ then toured with The National, Sean Lennon, and The Plastic Ono Band before joining Bon Iver in 2011 and winning two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album. In 2014 CJ became the newest member of Paul Simon’s touring band. As an arranger, trumpet player, french horn player, and keyboardist C.J.’s discography includes well over 200 recordings including current and forthcoming releases by Paul Simon, Bon Iver, yMusic, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Rufus Wainwright, The Tallest Man on Earth, David Byrne, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Gabriel Kahane, Angus and Julia Stone, Ingrid Michaelson, The Staves, My Brightest Diamond, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, GOASTT, Jesse Harris, She and Him, Harper Simon, Chris Garneau, Clare and the Reasons, Welcome Wagon, Anthony Coleman, ACME, The New York Trumpet Ensemble, Argento New Music Ensemble and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.
COLE DAVIS is a bassist currently living in Manhattan, New York. He graduated from The Juilliard School in 2021. As a sideman on the international jazz scene, he has played at the Bern Jazz Festival, the Tbilisi Jazz Festival, and the Tobago Jazz Festival in Trinidad & Tobago. A busy sideman in his hometown, Cole has played at The Appel Room, The Kennedy Center, Smalls Jazz Club, and is currently doing the musical Los Otros on Broadway. He plays upright bass on Lambchop’s most recent album “The Bible,” and on CJ Camerieri’s upcoming album “CARM II.”
I am a trumpeter improvising with no-input mixing, trumpet (un)preparations and movement.
I am from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
I left the USA after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
I spent 14 years in Prague, Budapest, Bristol, Edinburgh, Osaka, Lisbon, Venice.
On music, sound
I draw on the trumpet as an object of war. Long before representations of heralding Angels became associated with the trumpet-object or sound-symbol, we find it in contexts of war and battle. It is a device of communicative aggression across millenia of conflict, from flugelhorns calling Prussian military flanks into battle to the the Celtic Iron Age 'carnyx' striking fear in opponents through sound and design.
They are the sounds of change, of destabilization, of the permanent liminality of war in civilizations.
This use-memory rests in every brass object.
This spirit is what I am curious to draw out of my horn.
People gather around music like they gather around fire. We listen, we gaze.
Making fire and making music are kindred human activities that create shared sensory collectives.
Heat and vibration, materials through which we build ourselves.
There are two general ways I approach performing the trumpet.
Fire - Rancor
Wind - Falkor
Fire is making energy.
Wind is following energy and displacing it.
The Wind is like how one canoes by following the flow of a river in an ecological manner.
Falkor is the Wind
Setting fire to something unleashes uncontrollable energy.
Rancor is the Fire.
To drive out evil, to let in divine
Ancient uses of ritual
More than a specific harmonic or melodic content, the Blues to me is about the Howl.
The inner-howl of Humanness.
Sharing your Howl is the Blues.
My lips, my breath
I make several types of embouchure across the entirety of my lips.
Nothing is fixed.
There is no discourse without a mouthpiece.
I am less interested in breath control and more in letting the breath control me.
How do we know what we know?
I rely on body knowledge.
ANDY HAKALA is a trumpet player based in Minneapolis, MN. He studied Trumpet and Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2002. Since moving to Minneapolis, Andy has had the opportunity to perform with numerous local bands including the Jack Brass Band, Cedar Avenue Big Band, Jazz MN Big Band, The Twin Cities Jazz Orchestra and The Nova Jazz Orchestra. Currently, Andy plays trumpet with the Southside Aces.
MADISON HALLMAN is a vocalist from Minneapolis with a diverse background in musical styles, specializing in R&B and Jazz.
An internationally acclaimed singer, arranger, and composer from Michigan, USA, BLAKE MORGAN enjoys a career that spans the worlds of early music, oratorio, opera, musical theater, jazz, and contemporary music. Composing and arranging “imaginatively and beautifully” (Seen And Heard), his pieces have received performances and commissions from ensembles ranging from high school and university choirs to full-time professional groups such as Cantus, VOCES8, The Singing Hoosiers, Manhattan Transfer, The King’s Singers, and the 14,000-member digital group The Stay at Home Choir. A lover of folk tunes, Blake also composes original music for his chamber-pop projects Goodnight Mr. Max and Esto. Blake is an accomplished ensemble singer, and is the only musician to have been a member of both full-time choral ensembles in the United States, Cantus and Chanticleer. He currently sings and tours internationally with the chart-topping British chamber octet, VOCES8, and now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.
BRYAN NICHOLS is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Minneapolis. Often found playing jazz and improvised music, but at home in a variety of musical worlds, he leads and composes for his own trio, quintet, and nonet in addition to performing, recording, and touring with forward-thinking artists like Nicole Mitchell, Ron Miles, and Olga Bell, and groups like the Gang Font, Dead Man Winter, and Halloween, Alaska. He has taught jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music, University of Minnesota, Morris, and University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, while presenting clinics and masterclasses at a variety of colleges and high schools around the Midwest. Bryan was awarded a 2010-11 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, a prestigious and competitive award given to Minnesota musicians. His work also earned him a 2004 residency from Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center, given to outstanding, emerging jazz performer/composers, and a 2009 subito grant from the American Composers Forum. In May 2011 Bryan released his debut recording as a leader, Bright Places, containing nine original compositions for his quintet. The Star Tribune called the album “fresh and first-rate” and it landed on multiple best-of-year lists. In September 2011, he had the honor of performing as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra for the world premiere of a Stephen Paulus' concerto for jazz quintet and orchestra. Bryan has performed at most music venues in the Twin Cities and Chicago (where he lived from 2001-2005,) in addition to international festivals including Sons d’Hiver (Paris, France) and Kerava Jazz Festival (Kerava, Finland) and local and regional festivals including the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival. He's been a regular performer on series like SPCO's Liquid Music, and Orchestra Hall's Atrium Jazz Series. Bryan appears on recent recordings by Zacc Harris, MANCRUSH, Molly Dean, Dead Man Winter, Gang Font, Kelly Rossum, and many more. His most recent album, a solo piano endeavor entitled Looking North, was released in May 2016 on Shifting Paradigm Records.
PATRICK PRIDEMORE is a Minneapolis-based hornist with a wide array of accomplishments. He has performed with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin, Cheap Trick, and Harry Connick Jr. to Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Metropolitan Opera Company. He can be heard and/or seen in movies including The Manchurian Candidate (2004), The Greatest Showman, and Joker (2019). An avid chamber musician, Patrick has spent several summers as a member of the Marlboro Music Festival and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. He has been a guest at many other festivals across the country including Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA, the Ravinia Festival, and Tanglewood. For more than 20 years he worked as a New York City freelance Horn player earning a chair with more than a dozen Broadway and Off Broadway productions and was a member of both the Orchestra of St. Luke's and The Metropolitan Opera Company. Highlights of his time there include sharing the stage with John Lithgow, Simon Rattle, Morgan Freeman, Yo-Yo Ma, Reba McEntire, Alec Baldwin, and Paul McCartney.
PHIL OSTRANDER is Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and also holds the position of Principal Trombone in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. Prior to his work at Eau Claire, held faculty positions SUNY Geneseo (New York) and Bethany College (Kansas). Dr. Ostrander has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory. Dr. Ostrander has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under John Williams, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Kansas City Symphony. He has also performed with popular chamber ensembles Rhythm and Brass and Burning River Brass. An accomplished jazz trombonist, Dr. Ostrander has collaborated with jazz artists Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Jimmy Heath, Claudio Roditi and Rich Beirach. He has recorded on Sony Classical with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Naxos with the Iris Orchestra. Dr. Ostrander is a clinician for the Conn-Selmer Musical Instrument Company.
EVAN SLACK is a young but established Twin Cities guitarist. Over the last decade he has performed regularly in groups such as Bomba De Luz/Lydia Liza, heyarlo, Lupin, Nimic Revenue, FPA, Purple Funk Metropolis as well as with internationally-known singer Sid Sriram. Fascinated by the different roles guitar can fulfill in different situations, he most enjoys playing supportively, thriving off the group energy to find inspiration. As a student, Evan attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists as well as New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music; he played in the MN All-State Jazz Band twice, and has taken lessons from Vic Juris and Oz Noy.