Moira Smiley Interview on Lyrical Venus! Tues 9am

Moira Smiley & VOCO

You might not notice them a first glance, but check out the boots on the ladies of VOCO. More than just a fashion statement, the boots are actually an important part of their act! The wide variety of music they perform, from original folk to traditional ballads, makes VOCO a little hard to categorize. But one thing that makes them stand out as a super cool band, above and beyond their gorgeous harmonies, is their body percussion sets. And that’s where the boots come in – slapping their ankles is a lot louder (and probably less painful) with boots!

I first saw Moira Smiley, radiantly living up to her name, at Song School when she lead the opening sing at the beginning of the week. I didn’t get a chance to take any classes with her that week (there were SO many classes to choose from!), but I sure appreciated how she got everyone involved, moving and singing as a group right off the bat, and brought it all back together for the closing sing as well.

And then, I got to see Moira perform with her band VOCO during the Folks Fest that happened the weekend after Song School:

Feed and email readers may need to come to the blog to see the video

That was when I found out Moira plays banjo, one of my favorite instruments! She also plays accordion, and composes and arranges music for the group. Jessica Catron plays cello, Jess Basta and Christine Enns round out the group – all four of them provide vocals and body percussion.

I think it’s a testament to how tuned in Moira is to traditional music that when listening to both of the latest VOCO albums, I can’t really tell which of the songs are her originals without looking at the CD case! (Except maybe the ones that aren’t in English are pretty obviously Eastern European traditionals.)

The newest release from Moira Smiley & VOCO is a live EP called Circle Square Diamond and Flag, which is a reference to the notation used in traditonal shape note singing, which is the style mainly used for this collection of songs. And while the songs may come from varied backgrounds, somehow the harmonies tie together the diversity of the music across the disc. That and the fact that the performers all have sense of a joyous celebration of life that radiates from every note, every boot stomp, every hand clap, hoot and holler.

The description on their site sums up VOCO pretty perfectly: “stompin’ gorgeous vocals – lush, fierce vocal harmony and delicious vaudevillian combo of cello, accordion and banjo. Original songs, sweet hard-driving Americana, rompin’ body percussion, emotional ballads of Eastern Europe. A visionary blend of four exquisite voices.”

Join me for an interview with Moira Smiley on Lyrical Venus Radio, which is this Tuesday from 9-10am Central Time! KRUU-LP 100.1 FM here in town, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Check out Moira Smiley & VOCO on their website or MySpace.
Get their CDs Blink and circle, square, diamond, & flag at CD Baby.

2 Responses to “Moira Smiley Interview on Lyrical Venus! Tues 9am”

  1. Dave Zeman says:

    As always… well done and insightful.


  2. Gale Sigmond says:

    Hi I found this site when i was searching yahoo for this

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