by Kara Logsden on October 15th, 2016
Last spring Crystal City performed a Music on Wednesday program in our Lobby and I was blown away by their music. It is harmonious, celebratory, and joyful. Plus Sam’s whistling ability is … AMAZING! Join us Wednesday October 19th at Noon as we welcome Crystal City back to Iowa City Public Library.
Dave Helmer and Sam Drella are Crystal City. Their music is described as “Heartland rock band with blue-collar roots” with “themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.” Since discovering this band I’ve enjoyed listening to their music online (listen here) and getting to know their music a bit better. If you live in our service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights or Lone Tree), you can download their album for free with your ICPL card and password via our Local Music Project.
I’ll see you at the Library on Wednesday October 19 at Noon in the Lobby for the sweet tunes of Crystal City.
by Kara Logsden on September 17th, 2016
Music on Wednesdays kicks off on September 21 at Noon in the Lobby with the local Americana band, Muckrockers. Muckrockers was an active band a few years back and is recently reconstituted and appearing in local venues. Current band members include Scott Cochran, Jamie Kearney, Matt Kearney and Stacy Webster. For a preview of their music navigate to www.reverbnation.com/muckrockers
Muckrockers is self-described as “a group of working class musician-citizens aiming to illuminate and eliminate the corporate stranglehold on our government and our lives.”
We look forward to hosting Muckrockers and kicking off the new Music on Wednesdays season!
by Kara Logsden on September 6th, 2016
Last year the Music on Wednesdays series was so popular we decided to plan a second year of great programs. Join us for some toe-tapping tunes featuring musicians from our community.
All programs are at Noon on the Wednesdays below – Mark your calendars! Most programs are in the Lobby, but if it’s cold we move to the Gallery (near the first floor Magazine Area). If we’re hosting the students from Preucil School of Music, we’ll be in Meeting Room A (they bring a big crowd). Read the rest of this entry »
by Jason Paulios on August 4th, 2016
The Iowa City Public Library is celebrating our fifth year of offering free downloadable music from regional artists via the Local Music Project. This unique service allows ICPL cardholders to download over 80 albums from artists based in eastern Iowa. The project is currently limited to those living in Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree, or unincorporated (rural) Johnson County. The offerings are always changing with new albums added throughout the year from a variety of genres. Read the rest of this entry »
by Maeve Clark on June 30th, 2016
A good friend of the Iowa City Public Library passed away earlier this week. Dave Hicks played music and told stories for many events at the library, often with with Guy Drollinger and Mike Haverkamp. Dave, Mike and Guy played Civil War era music for a program on transcribing Civil War diaries at the University of Iowa Special Collections and they performed more recently at the 175th anniversary celebration of the founding of Iowa City. Or come in a borrow a copy of Stones in the Field’s Come Singing, Come Dancing and listen Dave play the fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar, and bodhran.
by Kara Logsden on May 21st, 2016
Our final Music on Wednesday program will be held Wednesday May 25th at Noon. The Old Post Office Brass Quintet, which is affiliated with the New Horizons Band, will share a variety of toe-tapping fun music. This free program will be held in the Library Lobby.
The New Horizons Band is “dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. The band, as well as the small spin-off groups perform regularly throughout the area and are known for bringing much joy to many, especially the older adult members of our community.”
I’m sad the Music on Wednesday series is coming to a close. It’s fun to see the surprised expression on people’s faces when they come into the Library and encounter music in an expected place. Most people smile and some stop and listen. Music in unexpected places reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment. I have a secret hope we’ll continue to have pop-up music in the Lobby. Most people know what to expect at the Library, but some days a bit of serendipity through music is a welcome surprise.
by Kara Logsden on May 7th, 2016
OK … confession time. I’ve never heard Crystal City perform live. They came highly recommended to me and when I read this review from Hillfolk Noir, who could resist?! “Crystal City from Iowa City, Iowa, is a versatile combo centered around Dave’s midwestern sincerity. His honest songs and Sam’s lilting harmonies can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping. -Travis & Ali Ward, Hillfolk Noir”
Dave Helmer and Sam Drella are Crystal City. Their music is described as “Heartland rock band with blue-collar roots” with “themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.” While preparing for this program, I’ve enjoyed listening to their music online (listen here) and getting to know their music a bit better. If you live in Iowa City or an area that contracts with us (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills or University Heights) you can download their album for free with your ICPL card and password via our Local Music Project.
Please join us on Wednesday May 11 at Noon in the Library’s Lobby for a toe-tapping musical performance with Crystal City. I dare you to not tap your toes and hum along. And who knows, maybe some bedraggled feet may begin stomping! See you at the Library!
by Brent Palmer on April 29th, 2016
If you have any interest in world music and don’t yet know Orchestra Baobab, I encourage you to give this band a try. This Senegalese group has a spicy blend of musical styles that include Cuban rhythms, classic West African drumming, mbira-like guitar and a vocal style from the West-African griot storytellers. It’s really fun to listen to. Baobab is made up of musicians from all around West Africa including Mali, Togo, Guinea and the Casamance region of Senegal. They sing in many different languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Wolof. We currently own only one album but it’s a really good one. If you enjoyed Buena Vista Social Club, it will be an easy transatlantic hop into this music. Request it right now.
Clip of Cabral by Orchestra Baobab
by Kara Logsden on April 7th, 2016
On April 13, 2016 at Noon, Preucil School of Music staff and students return to the Iowa City Public Library for a Special Music on Wednesday program celebrating “Notes of Spring.”
Music on Wednesday is a part of the Music is the Word series welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City. More information about Music is the Word, including a schedule of programs, is available at www.icpl.org/mitw.
“Notes of Spring” is the fourth and final performance from the musicians from Preucil School of Music. I have especially enjoyed these performances because it’s great to take a music break during the day and I am so impressed with the passion and dedication I’ve seen from the Preucil performers. Below is a preview of the program planned for Wednesday April 13th at Noon. I hope to see you there!
by Kara Logsden on March 5th, 2016
Susan and Greg Dirks grew up with music and began performing together as a duo in 2008. They compose most of their own music but also play cover songs from well-known musicians such as Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. Their music is an eclectic mix of folk, acoustic and folk rock.
We are honored to host Susan and Greg Dirks at the Library as a part of the Music on Wednesday series on March 9, 2016 at Noon in the Lobby.
A quote in ReverbNation about the Dirks’ music piqued my interest: “Some themes you may feel or identify in our music: love, family, friends, children, people we miss, passion, wind gently blowing through trees, water shimmering in the sunset, mountains rising majestically through clouds, the swelling expanse of the Pacific on the northern California coast, redwood forests, the Iowa countryside on a still summer night, rivers strong and gentle, shining ribbons of railroad tracks disappearing into the horizon, good books, history, selfless people doing good things.”
Music can often sweep us away. I’m looking forward to the Dirks’ music and the beautiful themes that will come alive through their performance. See you soon!