Although the demographic for Acoustic Eidolon has traditionally skewed more towards middle age music lovers, their music has been finding a growing audience of twentysomething hipsters.
In recent years, it seems younger folks have been turning on the deep catalog of recordings by this husband/wife duo, the latest of which is titled "A Tree Finds Its Voice," in tribute to a special tree from which some of their instruments were made.
Since 2013, the tuneful twosome have made a habit of returning every two years to the intimate confines of Edie's Attic, the upper loft performance room at Chicago Street Theater as part of the ongoing "One Night Jam" series of shows presented at the venue by local promoter/producer Paul Braun. Braun first heard the duo at a house concert he attended with his wife.
"I was very impressed with them that night and asked if they'd like to do a show at CST in Valparaiso," recalled Braun. "Acoustic Eidolon impressed everyone who saw them here, so we've continued to bringing them back in the hopes of turning on more people to their music."
“There was never a time when I considered doing anything but music as a career,” said Colorado-native Joe Scott, who started playing music at age 14. Scott masterfully performs on a variety of instruments, but the one that gets the most attention is his custom-designed double-neck creation he calls a "guitjo." Scott explained that one neck is strung like a regular guitar with an extra bass string, while the other neck is strung like a banjo but with two extra treble strings. He plays both necks, to create a beautiful, almost harp-like sound.
His wife and musical collaborator Hannah Alkire hails from Champaign, Illinois and was gifted at birth with musical genes, taking piano lessons at age four and taking up the cello in her early teens. She later relocated to Colorado, where a chance encounter with Joe Scott would forever change both of their lives.
Scott was producing a recording session for a Boulder-based band who had need of cello on a few tracks so the call went out and Alkire showed up at the studio door. “That was in 1995,” said Scott. “Hannah wound up doing a few other sessions with me after that, then we started playing together. Those first couple of years, we were just musical partners and good friends and then it blossomed into more.” The two formed Acoustic Eidolon in 1998 and eventually tied the knot in 2001. “Our music is very influenced by Celtic and Flamenco," he said of their unique musical output.
“Hannah has recorded a few solo classical pieces and I grew up playing bluegrass, so you might hear some of that in there too," he added. "We were strictly instrumental at first, but starting with our fifth CD, we began adding some vocals to a few songs on each CD and people really responded well to those songs.”
“Live concerts are pretty evenly split between instrumentals and vocal songs these days,” Scott said. “Mostly we play our originals, but we always throw in one of two instrumental versions of cover songs we like that we know our demographic will remember." Among those familiar covers one might hear Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven,” Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” or Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which is featured on the 12th and latest Acoustic Eidolon CD, "A Tree Finds Its Voice." More info and video/audio clips at: acousticeidolon.com.
FYI: Acoustic Eidolon plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at Chicago Street Theatre (in Edie's Attic), 154 Chicago St., Valparaiso. Tickets are $15/All Ages Welcome. Call 219-464-1636 or chicagostreet.org/eidolon2017