The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum kicks off its 34th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions on June 10, 2015, with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, an acoustic rhythm and harmony string quartet with an adventurous, joyous repertoire that dips into a range of American musical idioms. This and all other performances are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley, MA 01035. The Museum, Rani Arbo enthuses, is “a stunning setting for a concert, and a great place to bring the family and a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a real community event, which we love.” General admission is $12, or $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds beginning at 5:00 pm. The Museum and its grounds is a smoke free site.
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem’s performance at Wednesday Folk Traditions is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.
Mixing New Orleans grooves with old-time gospel harmonies, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem features Rani Arbo on fiddle and guitar, Andrew Kinsey on bass, banjo, and ukulele, Anand Nayak on electric and acoustic guitars, and Scott Kessel on percussion. The quartet has toured North America together for 15 years. Some of the band’s eclecticism can be attributed to Kessel’s homemade percussion kit — a collection of cardboard boxes, tin cans, caulk tubes, packing-tape tambourines, bottle-cap rattles, Mongolian jaw harps, and a vinyl suitcase.
Possessing a particular knack for pairing words and music, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem plumb the human condition with an infectious joie de vivre, digging “deep into their collective souls, finding joy in the moment, peace in the harmonies, and rapture in the rhythmic drive.” (The Hartford Courant). The band’s incisive songwriting lends emotional depth and striking originality to their “mellifluous mélange” of musical styles (Maverick Magazine). Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have a penchant for music that digs deep, laughs loud, and finds the joy in all things.
For their June 10 performance at Wednesday Folk Traditions, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will be performing from their fifth and most recent album, Violets Are Blue, a collection released by Signature Sounds. Full of sugar-free, grownup love songs infused with poetry and groove, Violets Are Blue evinces a confidence and sincerity informed by the band’s long history together and their experiences in life and love.
On June 17, Wednesday Folk Traditions continues with a performance by the Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble, and will continue throughout June and July. The Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble performs traditional music of the Arab world, preserving the rich legacy of Arabic culture through soulful vocals, haunting rhythms, hypnotic instrumental improvisations, and electrifying percussion.
Wednesday Folk Traditions is funded, in part, by: the Marion I. And Otto C. Kohler Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; the Walmart Foundation; Easthampton Savings Bank; the Amherst and Hadley Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts; and many local businesses.