Artist Q-and-A
September 5, 2013 • 10:23:17 a.m.

Nashville-based Harpeth Rising coming to Geneva

By ERIC SCHELKOPF - eschelkopf@shawmedia.com

Nashville-based Harpeth Rising is one of the acts that will perform Sunday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Sept. 2, at the Folk Valley Music and Storytelling Festival at Island Park in Geneva. (Provided photo)

Their latest album debuted in the Top 10 on the International Folk Charts.

Nashville-based Harpeth Rising is just one of the acts that will perform Sunday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Sept. 2, at the Folk Valley Music and Storytelling Festival at Island Park in Geneva.

Information about the festival is available by visiting www.foxvalleyfolk.com.

Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to violinist and co-founder Jordana Greenberg about the band and its activities.

Eric Schelkopf: Do you prefer being part of festivals like this rather than playing on your own?
Jordana Greenberg:
One of the things we love about playing festivals is getting to hear all of the other musicians. Before we were full-time performing musicians, we spent a good amount of our time going to music festivals.

It was one of my favorite things and still is, but I just do it in a slightly different capacity now. As a performer, I go and do my performance, and then after that, I get to become a spectator. And they’re equally as much fun.

ES: I understand the band formed after you and banjo player Rebecca Reed-Lunn took a cross-country spiritual quest.
JG:
All four of us went to Indiana University in Bloomington, and we all have classical performance degrees. We decided that we really wanted to start writing our own music, and that happened to come out basically as folk music as a result of our different influences and passions and upbringing.

That’s what sort of came naturally to us.

ES: And I understand the band kind of formed after you started performing with Rebecca across the United States.
JG:
Yeah, the two of us just kind of took off on a road trip and started busking and going to music festivals.

And then we headed to Hawaii and ended up picking [up] a whole bunch of regular gigs there. So, we stayed for a year in Hawaii, playing about five times a week.

We started writing songs and began figuring out what we wanted to sound like.

ES: On your latest CD, “The End of the World,” you are collaborating with your dad, David Greenberg.
JG:
He’s a really amazing singer/songwriter. He’s been writing since he was a kid.

I have memories of hearing him write songs and then playing them for me. And then it sort of seemed imperative to me when we started performing that we do some of his stuff.

We loved it, and our fans loved it. So, we decided to make an album of songs by him.

ES: Your playing style is rather unique. You kind of developed your own style.
JG:
I think we all have in a sense, because of our classical training. I get asked a lot whether I am a violinist or a fiddler. The answer, I think, totally depends on what song we’re playing.

I haven’t studied bluegrass fiddling in the same way that I’ve classical music. So, I tend to be a little more comfortable in a slightly more classical style, but I incorporate a lot of techniques from modern fiddling playing.

If we’re doing a song that requires sort of more rock-type feel to it, I’ll even do things that end up sounding sort of like an electric guitar. So, you sort of develop according to what the song needs.


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