True Endeavors presents:
The Cave Singers
701A E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI, 53703
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
The Cave Singers
When selftaught spiritual artist Augustin Lesage (1876-1954) spoke of his painting process he said, "I never have any idea as to what I want to portray. I never have an overview of the entire work at any point of the execution. My guides tell me: Do not try to understand what you're doing.' I surrender to their impulse." This sentiment of surrendering is shared by The Cave Singers. Their writing is unfettered; their songs possess a quality of deliverance. Each track of their four album catalog compels movement, physical and emotional. It can manifest as the tapping of ones foot, nod of the head or even a silent lifting of the heart. The Cave Singers ' melodic harmonies pull the body to the present, demanding our attention beyond all of the other noises of the world.
Banshee brings The Cave Singers back to their original 3 piece lineup and also their approach to songwriting: an exchange of Derek sending Pete a riff and Pete responding with vocal ideas. From there, the songs come together. The album was recorded live in July of 2015 over 6 days with producer Randall Dunn. The record is warmly anchored in the members' creative familiarity with one another. Yet there is a new thirst to Banshee, one that can be attributed to the combination of the band taking a year off to work on other projects Pete Quirk's solo album and the Kodiak Deathbeds debut record and their return to songwriting from distanced correspondence.
Lead vocalist Peter Quirk possesses a spiritual healing quality that rides within the tonal waves of his lyrics. Driving guitars, foottapping percussion, and Quirk's powerful vocals make an intricate quilt that blankets the audience in comfort, aggressively communicating a gentle reminder: we are soft bodies trying to survive with one another. Fade Away highlights this, "With the sun on our back we will never get cold, with the light in our eyes it's alright to get old, whatever your story might say, however, it's told, let it go, let it let go, let it fade away."
The Cave Singers remind us that it takes a village. They remain approachable while retaining the complexity of writing skills possessed by folks who have dedicated their lives to music. Their appreciation of varied sounds, the writing process, and performing in every type of venue, house and festival possible allows them to connect with those they speak to. Their passion for their craft translates from their recordings and resonates through their performances.
The Cave Singers are the people's band.
West Bend is a Southeast Wisconsin town where the Milwaukee River shifts directions, angling to suddenly head West. It's also the home of Blessed Feathers, a duo that initiated when Donivan Berube's life similarly altered course. Hailing from Lakeland Florida, FL, Berube was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, teaching himself guitar and recorded songs in his bedroom in an attempt to pursue his passion. The musician eventually left home at 17, disassociating himself from the church and driving 36 hours from the Florida sunshine into a Wisconsin blizzard. Berube found work in a restaurant in West Bend where he met Jacquelyn Beaupre, who is now his partner in both music and life.
Blessed Feathers arose from Beaupre's solo material, which Berube produced while living on a farm in Farmington, WI in 2009. Originally he was only interested in augmenting her songwriting, bolstering the organic, folk-inspired track with additional instrumentation and vocal harmonies, but slowly the duo began constructing songs together, each bringing their own stylistic tendencies to the table. "We didn't really have a plan set in our minds," Berube says of the music. "It's just what happened."
The pair played their first show at a West Bend bookstore in April of 2010 at a meeting of the Fireside Books' Poetry Club, building a reputation in the surrounding towns. Their stock of songs grew, all captured via a laptop and microphone in their bedroom. In mid-2012, however, Blessed Feathers selected their favorite five tracks to record with producer Kevin McMahon (Real Estate, Titus Andronicus, The Walkmen) at his studio in New Paltz, NY. The songs, which comprise the band's debut EP, Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds, encapsulate Berube and Beaupre's collective experiences, aiming to capture both their emotional and geographic journeys.
"I feel like these songs were birthed in Wisconsin so what we're recording is how we feel about our home and focused on imagery from our home," Beaupre says. "Donivan has a few songs from Florida, from before he came up to Wisconsin. But most of the songs are little bits and pieces of our life in Wisconsin. They're all rooted in locale, all about places we've lived. We're trying to pick out small pieces of our own history and enlighten people with that." Berube adds, "This EP compiles our five best songs to date. We wanted to put our best foot forward, so to speak."
The pair contributed numerous instruments to the album, including banjo, flute, vibraphone and various percussion. But, ultimately, McMahon and the band focused on maintain the earthy, homespun sound that Blessed Feathers has cultivated over the past few years. The EP resonates with a woodsy vibe, urging the listener into an intimate, skillfully crafted sonic space—aided in many ways by McMahon's recording style.
"He has little tricks up his sleeve," Beaupre notes. "Because we recorded it in a barn he took our vocals and recorded them through a microphone and then played them into the silo of the barn and record the natural echoes. That became the album recording. It's a wonderful sound and we loved that idea. Things like that have helped shape the EP."
Berube and Beaupre still work in the same restaurant where they first met, spending their time, as Berube says, "cooking dinner for strangers." They share a 10-year-old cell phone and can only access the Internet from their local library. They are interested in capturing all their experiences, not just the ones they've found in West Bend. Their music is optimistic, gleaming with a sense of appreciation for the things around them and the things within them. The pair likes to say that Beaupre plays everything and Berube plays everything else, but a better way to put it is that together they play everything.