Harpeth Rising thrives on eclectic sound
Vernon Area Public Library, 300 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire
7 p.m. Wednesday,
(847) 634-3650 or www.vapld.info
Updated: June 19, 2012 7:15PM
“We don’t fall into a specific genre. Everything is always from scratch, so the sound that we get is the result of a lot of experimentation,” said Jordana Greenberg.
Greenberg composes and plays the fiddle with Nashville-based Harpeth Rising, a quartet with an eclectic repertoire, in only its third year. But the ensemble is a rising star on the Americana music scene, with bookings all over the U.S., in Canada and the U.K.
Greenberg is joined by Rebecca Reed-Lunn on banjo, Chris Burgess on percussion, and Maria Di Meglio on cello. All are in their 20s, and all are degreed students of music, with their many accomplishments detailed on the band bio page at www.harpethrising.com.
“All of us are classically trained but have other influences, like bluegrass, and also the classic rock and folk of the ’60s and ’70s,” said Greenberg. “For me, bluegrass is a strong influence, as I grew up with it in southern Indiana. Artists like Darrell Scott and Sam Bush are among my biggest influences, and of course the classical composers. For Harpeth Rising, Rebecca and I write the songs, but all four of us try to envision the sound and then create it.”
The group’s exceptional musicianship, soaring harmonies, and inventive cross-over style produces a unique sound that is attracting fans and acclaim and bringing audiences to their feet. The band presents a concert June 27 at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire.
Greenberg said that show will have an educational aspect that reflects the ensemble’s many interests.
“This show will be a bit different, as we’ll do a little presentation on each of the instruments, and talk about the influence of folk music and its connection to classical and other music,” she said.
Harpeth Rising has recorded two well-received CDs and is releasing a third in July.
“We are so excited about this,” said Greenberg. “We recorded songs that my dad wrote. He is David Greenberg of Paoli, Ind., and is a professional writer who has been a journalist but who has had his plays produced. This is his first full album, and it is a great collaboration.”
Asked about the origin of the band name, Greenberg explained its reference.
“There is a beautiful river that flows just outside of and partially through Nashville, called the Harpeth,” she said. They saw the sign with the river’s name, and decided it would be great for a band name.
The band has now been touring regularly in recent months and is playing numerous festivals and concert series this summer. All this work has led to one happy development.
“We have a 1997 Ford Econoline, and all three of us girls can stand up in it, a big improvement over the mini-van we used to have,” laughed Greenberg.