Happy and Well

I’m so proud to be a part of this musical collaboration led by my friend, the wonderful Katy Wallace.

Our collaboration is Katy Wallace singing, playing acoustic guitar and editing, Sal Garro on drums, Laura Wilson singing, Tara McGovern on Fiddle, Trish and Jeremy Drioli (The Reverend and Mrs Rowdy) on Upright Bass and Electric Guitar and this video is inspired by Allison Davies.

Tulip Giraffe


In lieu of The Soft and Low’s long-anticipated show this weekend at the Sanctuary Pub and with gratitude and love for Sanctuary manager and our good pal J.D. Noble, we decided to create and share this virtual recording of a song that we wrote last year and have played live just a handful of times.

Inspired by a particularly exuberant spring bloom in my yard, “Tulip Giraffe” has taken on some new meaning for us in these strange, difficult and beautiful days.

Enjoy, and be well!

“Tulip Giraffe” by The Soft and Low

Feet of a Dancer benefiting United Action for Youth now available for download

All proceeds from downloads benefit United Action for Youth.

The song is also available on Spotify, Google Play and all the usual streaming services so please consider a direct donation to United Action for Youth if you choose to stream.

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).

This arrangement also features the original hornpipe “Champagne Dancers” by Keith Reins and the reel “Castle Island” by Timothy M. Dillon.

Coppers & Brass
Frank Claudy, flute and whistle
Joseph Dutcher, bodhrán and vocals
Tara McGovern, fiddle and vocals
Keith Reins, guitar

Tréa Champagne, TCRG, Irish step dance and vocals

Additional vocals by dancers/musicians of Champagne Academy of Irish Dance, McGovern Music Studio and our marvelous youth singers Anna, Eviva, Honora, Lauren, Lilia, Lorali, Nina, Nolan, and Rose.

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.

Hot Tamale Louie the Performance in Iowa City on Thurs Jan 23

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.

January Joy

Hello friends,

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 & BrassTréa 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,
Tara