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Introducing The Weatherfolk ~ A New Adventure in Music

In anticipation of the official EP release party in Memphis this Saturday night that I’ve been talking about all week, I’d like to welcome new friends Ken and Casey Weatherford, who formed the band The Weatherfolk just this year. Ken released several albums as a solo artist often missing Casey his wife while on the road, but now they are taking this music adventure together. With the new 5 song EP aptly entitled "Together", they are a very welcome addition to the music scene as passionate music lovers and passionate musicians. Their passion is evident in the fact that they both left stable jobs to focus on music in what they call a leap of faith.

Ater the photo below is a quick Q & A that will hopefully give you an introduction to the band The Weatherfolk from their perspective.

Can you talk about the band name The Weatherfolk? I instantly think “folk” music. Is that a related description at all?
Originally, it had nothing to do with folk music. A good friend of ours once used the term to describe the two of us as a couple, since our last name is Weatherford. He said, “So, how are the Weatherfolk today?” As soon as we decided to become a duo, the name was a natural fit. Now, we have begun describing our style as ‘acoustic folk rock,’ so your association with folk music is really very apropos, though completely unintentional.

Can you talk a little about your musical backgrounds? What got you interested in music? What were your previous musical outlets?
KEN ~ I grew up in a very musical family; my mom and dad played in garage bands, and I was reared on all things Beatles. Seriously – it’s a family obsession. I started taking piano at age five and singing not long after, and I was in several musical theater productions around Memphis (including Tapestry, a revue of Carole King’s music, which inspired us to cover “We Are All In This Together” on the EP). High school for me was completely dominated by concert and show choirs – it was my life. I also began playing keys in the praise band at Christ UMC when I was 14 and had a great mentor there. That experience really formed me as a musician and led me to form a Christian band called Adam’s Apple during my college years.
CASEY ~ My musical background is far less involved than Ken’s, but music has always been a significant part of my life. I took piano for eight years as a kid, which I loved; that is, until high school sports became more important. I also took a couple of years of voice lessons and sang in a few talent shows. But again, choir was not an option with basketball and softball in the picture. (Don’t you love that I’m the jock in this relationship?) Dating Ken in college pulled me back into music, and well, here we are.

As The Weatherfolk, do you have defined roles in the music making: someone writes the music and the other writes the lyrics?
Honestly, the process happens differently every time. Casey is a writer at heart, and Ken is a born musician, so generally, our roles follow that pattern. However, we work together on every song. Sometimes, we start with lyrics that one or both of us have written. Sometimes, we start with a piano or guitar riff that Ken comes up with. Sometimes, we sit for hours and write one painstaking line at a time until it’s 3:00 in the morning and the bottle of wine is empty. However it goes, we tend to write melody and lyrics together, and then Ken composes the music behind it all.

How did you write then select songs to be on this first album as your duo group? I also thought you guys made the album very quickly. Was it quick in your perspective? Can you explain if so?
KEN ~ We started writing last fall, even before we knew we were going to be a duo; the songs were originally intended for Ken’s next solo project. Initially, we had 11 songs in progress. Six of those were fully developed, including one cover, but we decided to cut one song during the recording process. We had written the song specifically for the record, but once we heard it on tape, we realized it just didn’t fit. What’s even funnier is that another of the songs, “Nothing Like Me,” was an older song that was not originally on our list, but as soon as we switched it from piano to guitar, it was completely right.
CASEY ~ Yes, the album was indeed recorded very quickly. This was for two reasons: first, the EP is only five songs, and it’s a fairly stripped recording, without full drums and bass, so less time was taken in the studio. Secondly, we will be spending the summer in Scotland doing mission work starting May 4. So, we realized the urgency of getting a product out to introduce ourselves as a duo, establish our musical presence, and hopefully gain a fan base before leaving the country for three months.

What can people expect to see at the release party this Saturday?
The release party will be a super-relaxed atmosphere with café tables, couches, and plenty of casual hang-out space. Kids are more than welcome and get in free. There is plenty of room in the venue for kids to run around together and play without disturbing anyone. As for adults, a $5 cover gets you free beer, wine, and soda all night (or until they run out). Our music set-up will include a full band of Memphis musicians, which we are so excited about – Bryan Rumfola on drums, Stephen Adkisson on upright bass, and Robert Barger on guitar, with Ken on keys and both of us on vocals. We’ll play all five songs from new album, a few from Ken’s solo records, and some of our favorite cover songs. The new EP (fresh off the press!) will be available for $5, and we’ll sell t-shirts for $15. We will also offer opportunities to sponsor a child through World Vision (we have been Artist Associates with World Vision’s sponsorship program for about five years.) And of course, there will be scrumptious hot dogs and limeades for sale by the one and only Christopher McRae.

Special thanks to Ken, Casey and Amy. Album cover design by Casey Weatherford. Photos courtesy of Amy Dale Photography.

Mission Work
Ken and Casey are also involved in mission work. They are leaving for Scotland in a few weeks and they still need your help in raising money. Learn more about the cause at forthcircuitmission.com and donate at forthcircuitmission.com/donate.

Details ~ The Weatherfolk EP Release Party ~ Memphis {I'll be there!}
Saturday / April 17 / 7 pm /Opening set by Visible School student
456 Tennessee Street / Downtown Memphis near Memphis Flyer building
$5 cover / FREE Wine & Beer / Food for sale by Hound Dogs Hotdog Cart
Sponsored by Woodard Properties & Southwestern Beverage & Distributing
RSVP on their Facebook Page or email casey@weatherfolk.com

Details ~ The Weatherfolk EP Release Party ~ Nashville
Tuesday / April 20 / 7 pm
Rumours Wines & Art Bar / 12 South neighborhood

Also, Ken and Casey were kind enough to pick all the songs for this week for a guy/girl duo/duet theme. I hope you have been listening along. They truly have good taste in music. Here are a few others that they suggested that didn’t get played.
~"Mercy" by Drew & Ellie Holcomb
~"Poison & Wine" by The Civil Wars (Joy Williams & John Paul White)
~"If Not For You" by Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken (originally by Bob Dylan)
~"I'm Coming Over" by Trent Dabbs & Ashley Monroe
~"Full Steam Ahead" by David Gray & Annie Lennox

The Weatherfolk Preview songs and get the latest news ~ Web / MySpace / Twitter / Facebook
Amy Dale Photography ~ Web / Blog / Twitter
Also a thank you to Christopher for helping with the interview questions.

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