A crowd gathered at Canaan Commons as part of the Muncie Three Trails Music Series. This year's series features four groups of different musical backgrounds. Muncie Three Trails Music Series, Photo Courtesy
Three Trails Music Series brings in award-winning acts
The Muncie Three Trails Music Series will be kicking off the beginning of its free public concerts July 13 at Canan Commons.
The series, which is put on with support from Muncie Downtown Development Partnership and the Muncie Arts & Culture Council, will bring in four different musical groups for the community to hear.
The artists include Balsam Range, bluegrass; The Campbell Brothers, African-American gospel; The Secret Sisters, country; and Flor De Toloache, mariachi.
“I try to bring in the widest variety of acts that I think will be appealing,” said music coordinator Rick Zeigler. “The purpose of the music series is two-fold. The first is to provide a great musical experience for people attending the concert. The second is to publicize some of the other attractions that we have in Muncie.”
Here’s a quick look at the bands coming to Canan Commons:
Balsam Range, 7 p.m. July 13
Five guys, one band, multiple harmonies and over 11 years spent together creating sound — Balsam Range will be the first to open up the series.
“It’s a little more than just bluegrass music we play,” mandolinist Darren Nicholson said. “When we play in the bluegrass style, in the traditional bluegrass instrumentation, you can hear jazz, country music and rockabilly. You might even hear a rock cover.”
Nicholson estimates that 98 percent of the set will be original music, which they have won ten awards for.
“There are peaks and valleys [in our setlist],” Nicholson said. “We will do a slow song, then that will be followed by an up-tempo gypsy jazz song, a rock ‘n’ roll cover and maybe a medium tempo bluegrass.”
Campbell Brothers, 7 p.m. July 28
This band of brothers has been known to play a Gospel style, but Phil Campbell, guitarist and vocalist, said it comes with a twist.
“If you look at the type and styles that most people identify with gospel and blues, the performance style comes out of the African-American pentecostal service so it’s very dynamic, very lively,” Phil said. “It’s very interactive for the audience, you know, there's a call and response.”
The overall set the band performs creates a “family-type of environment,” said Chuck Campbell.
“We tend to attract not only older audiences, but also younger audiences,” Campbell. “Pretty much like our church service so everyone can participate in. It covers a wide range of taste.”
Secret Sisters, 7 p.m. Sept. 1
From a rural Alabama town, the Secret Sisters, Lydia and Laura Rogers, began their journey in music. The vocalist duo have been performing together professionally for nine years.
The duet normally performs with just the two vocalists and one acoustic guitar. For this show, however, they will be accompanied by a band.
“One of us will be on the guitar, we will have a bass player and drummer,” Lydia said. “Then, in the middle of the show, we like to kick the guys off the stage and just have the two of us up there with an acoustic.”
The set will include some rock ’n’ roll, folk and country music, Lydia said. Laura said it also will include some of their most recent songs, like “He’s Fine,” which has been played on several independent radio stations and “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder,” which appeared on the Hunger Games soundtrack.
Flor De Toloache, 7 p.m. Sept. 20
Flor De Toloache is the first all-woman mariachi band to receive a 2017 Latin Grammy for Best Ranchero Album for “Las Caras Lindas.”
“We in essence are mariachi,” said the founder, Mireya Ramos. “We use mariachi instruments, we come from a mariachi tradition, but it is our own take on the tradition.”
Besides original compositions Flor De Toloache creates its own twist on original music. The members chose to make their set list a fusion of original pieces, traditional mariachi and unique covers.
“I originally come from the tradition, so when I started the group I made sure we knew the traditional mariachi rapture, and that we used the instruments properly in terms of the style,” Ramos said. “We do original compositions and original arrangements, which is what differentiates our group from other groups.”
Ramos said the audience is incorporated throughout the whole concert and said she hopes audience members are impacted by the music.
“It is very festive, it makes you feel something,” Ramos said. “People connect to it rapidly — it’s meant to entertain. That’s a part of the mariachi music and what people experience when they hear mariachi.”