A collaboration spanning decades and continents unites Iowa’s beloved Irish trad band Coppers & Brass, Irish step dancer Tréa Champagne, TCRG, Champagne Academy of Irish Dance and McGovern Music Studio for a song to benefit United Action for Youth.
All proceeds benefit United Action for Youth in celebration of 50 years of serving youth and families in Eastern Iowa.
“Feet of a Dancer” is by Charlie McGettigan (Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, Ireland).
Tréa Champagne, TCRG, Irish step dance and vocals
Recorded at United Action for Youth in Iowa City by Kylie Buddin and Nick Mendoza. Mixing and sound editing by Kylie Buddin.
Cover art by Elyse Chapman in cooperation with Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.
We’re very grateful to Elyse and CCPA for allowing us to use this logo which originated with the first collaborative performance of this song at I LIFT MY LAMP: songs & stories of Irish immigration on November 16, 2019 at Coralville Center for the Performing Arts in Coralville, Iowa.
As we prepare to perform Hot Tamale Louie back in our hometown of Iowa City for the first time in many months, I give you the words of the writer who inspired the entire piece, Kathryn Schulz in “Citizen Khan” The New Yorker. June 6 & 13, 2016:
“Over and over, we forget what being American means. The radical premise of our nation is that one people can be made from many, yet in each new generation we find reasons to limit who those “many” can be—to wall off access to America, literally or figuratively. That impulse usually finds its roots in claims about who we used to be, but nativist nostalgia is a fantasy. We have always been a pluralist nation, with a past far richer and stranger than we choose to recall.”
West High School auditorium on Thursday, January 23 beginning at 10 am. Free and open to the public.
Happy New Year, one and all!
The Soft and Low, my folk-rock duo with Jeffrey C. Capps, has developed a largely unintentional but nevertheless delightful habit of landing performances on the full moon and January is no exception.
The Soft and Low, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
Fri, Jan 10 – 6-9 pm
1441 Marak Road NW, SwisherCome for the tunes and the wonderful food and libations and let the full moon follow you home. More details here.
Hawkeye Area Grand Gaelic Isles Society (H.A.G.G.I.S.) Burns Dinner 2020
Sat – Jan 18 – 4-10 pm
St. Wenceslas Church Hall: 1224 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids
Coppers & Brass, my Irish trad band, is delighted to provide music for this traditional annual Burns Dinner featuring Scottish food, ceremonial readings and toasts, bagpiping, Scottish social dancing, a raffle, and a dessert contest. The absolute deadline for reservations is January 11th. Go here to reserve your spot.
Burns Night hosted by David MacLeod Burt
Sat – Jan 25 – 7 pm
Sanctuary Pub in the Red Room: 405 S Gilbert St in Iowa City
This is a double fun opportunity because Burns Night begins at 7 pm in the Red Room and then the wonderful Saul Lubaroff is playing from 8 to 10 pm in the main area of the Sanctuary.
In February, Coppers & Brass, Tréa Champagne, and a collaboration of Champagne Academy of Irish Dancers and McGovern Music Studio musicians head into the studio to record a single to be released digitally as a fundraiser celebrating the 50th anniversary of United Action for Youth.
And then comes March. Oh, March! Never not a doozy. Stay tuned for the whirlwind.
I’m sending you love and wishing you well.
Tuned to truth,
Looking for a no-waste experience gift for your friend or sweetheart?
The Soft and Low has got you covered.
The Northside neighborhood of Iowa City is already home to my most beloved bookstore, theatre and my soon to be favorite kitchen store so it was no great surprise to discover that Wild Culture Kombucha taproom and lounge has become a treasured place to relax and enjoy delicious food and drinks.
In September, my almost 14 year old Liam and had a wonderful night nibbling on charcuterie and sipping kombucha while listening to my musical partner Jeffrey C. Capps rock a solo show and ever since I’ve been looking forward to bringing them The Soft and Low, my folk-rock duo with Jeff.
The day has nearly arrived! Friday, December 13 at 7 pm is your time to escape from the hustle of this season, to sit and sip and relax and let us folk-rock you.
The Soft and Low and our favorite elf are pleased to present the 2019 Top Ten Carol Countdown! We will be singing these TONIGHT (Saturday, December 7 at 7 pm) with YOU as an opening act for the Coppers & Brass Christmas show at Sanctuary Pub.
We used a delicate algorithm balancing community input with artistic license to come up with this year’s offerings.
Please let us know what you’d like to see on the list for 2020!
Click through for lyrics and sing along!
Come for the carols, stay for the superior food, drink, service and for our very best in Irish trad music with a Christmas twist.
I hope that all of you had a warm and nourishing Thanksgiving. December is full of seasonal fun! Here’s where you’ll find me celebrating all the treasures of this month:
Ron Clark’s Small Miracles – Fri, Dec 6th – 7-9 pm
Uptown Bill’s, 730 S. Dubuque St, Iowa City
A beautiful and rare offering by my friend and mentor Ron Clark:
“Get out of the cold and enjoy an evening of heart-warming holiday storytelling with Small Miracles, a moving, one-man show by Ron Clark. Small Miracles takes the audience on a nostalgic, heartfelt journey as Clark shares his recollections of growing up in a small Iowa town where the mayor/street cleaner doubled as Santa, a courageous dog, a terrifying audition for the fifth grade Christmas pageant, and his stint at a department store Santa. Clark’s vivid storytelling will captivate you and bring to mind your own fond memories. This show is perfect for the whole family.”
The Soft and Low Carol Countdown! – Sat, Dec 7th – 7-7:30 p.m
Sanctuary Pub, 405 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City
Doesn’t this just sound like something you need to experience?! Be sure to drop me a note with your carol request and then show up to see if yours makes the list!
and definitely stick around following the carol countdown for…
Coppers & Brass Christmas – Sat, Dec 7th – 7:30-9 p.m.
Sanctuary Pub, 405 S. Gilbert St, Iowa City
Celebrate the season with a traditional Irish twist. Coppers & Brass is proud to present our very last performance of 2019 with gratitude for the amazing year we’ve had as a band. We look forward to seeing you many more times in 2020 and beyond.
The Soft and Low – Fri, Dec 13th – 7-9 p.m.
Wild Culture Kombucha, 210 N. Linn St, Iowa City
Jeff played at this great new venue a couple of months ago, but this will be the first time for our duo! While we’ll play much of our standard fare, you can bet that a couple of those holiday songs will sneak into this set, as well. Come for the tunes, and stay for the delicious kombucha, beer & wine!
Champagne Academy of Irish Dance Irish Christmas Céilí – Sat, Dec 21 – 2-5:30 pm
South Slope Community Center, 980 Front St, North Liberty
A fabulous afternoon of Irish dance and music! Irish dance (beginners to champions from Champagne Academy of Irish Dance) & music performance with a social dance (Céilí, no experience needed!) and potluck to follow featuring Caller Tadhg Mac Aindriú and the Champagne Céilí Band of which I am a proud fiddler. Doors open at 1:30pm. $16 at the door, 4 and under free. Contact Trèa Champagne TCRG for more details.
Wherever you are and however you choose to spend this season that can be so cold and dark, please know that I am wishing you all that is calm and bright.
Tuned to truth,
I’m very proud as always to fiddle in the Family Folk Machine band but even more proud than usual that we will be performing “Sweet Mama Angel”, one of my favorite songs written by my bandmate in The Soft and Low Jeffrey C. Capps.
Our “One Family” concert also features music by Janis Ian, Bill Withers, Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy, Sade, Greg Brown as well as four other original songs by Family Folk Machiners.
See you at The Englert Theatre Sunday November 17 at 3 pm!