Twisted Whistle, a renegade string band, released their first music album of songs, Through The Mill, in June.
Band leader Matt Franzen who strums, plays and picks on the guitar, banjo and sings spent a little time with me to talk about the summer release and performing out and about in Portland.
Catherine Garvin: What is your tour schedule like? Any plans to play outside of Portland?
Matt Franzen: Right now, we’re focused on our hometown fan base. We expect to announce our tour schedule outside of Portland in the fall. One gig we have our sights set on is the Sisters Folk Festival 2013.
Garvin: How does it feel to prepare for your first debut album?
Franzen: We are very excited. Our live performances have been very well received, and we look forward to seeing where the album can take us.
Garvin: What wellspring of musical creativity did you as a band or individual musicians draw from to find the musical spirit of Americana?
Franzen: We feel that the diversity of musical influences brought to the band by each member allows us to bring a fresh approach to Americana.
Garvin: Great job at capturing the Americana sound with a nice blend of other musical styles intertwined, as songwriters what is your first step in composing a song? Lyrics, rhythm or melody?
Franzen: There is no magic formula. Sometimes the songs arrive fully formed. More frequently, it is a process of small edits. Concept and mood are often the springboard from which a song either soars or plunges to its death.
Garvin: All the songs have a strong positive upbeat will to live there are no heartbreak songs. Why? Okay “Almost Drowned,” but the song doesn’t have a strong sense that you will not survive.
Franzen: Music makes us happy.
Garvin: Listening to “Through the Mill,” I sense a bubbling band of skilled musicians ready to seize the stage do you feel it too?
Franzen: One has to believe in what one is doing. You must be your own biggest fan. So, yes, we feel it.
Garvin: What’s next after the release concert? Musical tour? Music Festivals?
Franzen: We can be found at several summer festivals including Northwest String Summit and Oregon Country Fair. With the momentum of the album release behind us, we anticipate hitting the road before long.
Thank you for sharing your music, all the best to you and the other Twisted Whistle renegades Kina Lyn Muir who plays cello, guitar, vocals, Jeff Hays on percussion and vocals, and David Gerow on mandolin for a great summer release, and a big bang of musical success.