Stella! At the Pump House

Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 1:08 pm
By: 
Dudley "Smitty" Smith

Pump House Concerts presens Stella!, a 4-piece, all-women, American roots band on Sunday, November 11th. Our doors will open at 6:30 and the great music will start at 7 pm.

When my wife Gerry and I first started our quest for good Americana music in the Lansing area, Jen Sygit was one of the great local artists we found. Then we heard about her venture with three other women known as "Stella!".  We're happy as heck to finally get this wonderful quartet in front of you this Sunday.  We've seen them many times before--they are a Michigan country/roots music treasure. Such great songwriting, musicianship, and fun!

Two guitars, a fiddle and upright bass give Stella! a rootsy vibe. Stella! has been referred to as a singer-songwriter super group with three-part vocal harmonies and four songwriter voices. Among the women, they have to their names #1 records on the roots music chart, been nominated for Detroit Music Awards, and appeared on ‘A Praire Home Companion. Karen Koski of the Detroit Metro Times says “Four Stars! A post-feminist speakeasy!"

Eclectic writer Jo Serrapere--who credits songwriter Tom Waits, early blues, jazz and old-time, as her strongest influences--was the founding member of the old-time string band, Uncle Earl. She has had two appearances on National Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" and three albums with her band, Jo Serrapere and the Willie Dunns. Jo asked songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jen Sygit to join Stella! and be another songwriting voice in the group. Jen's voice adds deep blues tones to Stella!. She plays acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, dobro and ukelele. Jen has three solo albums to her credit.

Fiddler, songwriter, and classical violist, Diana Ladio joined Stella! in the beginning of 2010. Recently graduated from the University Of Michigan's School of Music, Diana began touring on the front lines of the Chelsea House Orchestra in Chelsea, Michigan. She went on to co-found the Celtic Fusion duo, String Cheese, who recently performed as soloists with the Battle Creek Symphony. In the fall of 2010, Stella! completed its line-up with singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Laura Ann Bates. Although university-trained in operatic voice, piano and flute, Laura has taken on the upright bass. By pursuing opera in the classroom by day, bluegrass and folk in the bars at night, hymns and choral pieces on Sunday morning, she has developed a very diversemusical pallet.

Pump House Concerts is a neighborhood run Listening Room, located at 368 Orchard Street in East Lansing. The finest Americana roots music is presented in an intimate environment. A $15 donation is suggested ($10 students & seniors, kids free), and all donations go to the artist. For more infomation, contact pumphouseconcerts@gmail.com or call me (Smitty) at 517-927-2100.

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