Thursday, July 27, 2017

Featured Filkers #1: Cheshire Moon

I can't remember the very first time I heard Cheshire Moon, but the memory that sticks with me is from the 2013 Ohio Valley Filk Festival (OVFF) songwriting contest. The theme was "Once Upon a Time." While the rest of us who entered raced to make the phrase central to our songs, Cheshire Moon decided to focus on the spirit of the prompt: traditional folklore. The result was a deliciously fractured fairy tale that took second place. The very next year, their entry "Snow White, Red Road" won the Pegasus Award for Best Filk Song. Much squeeing ensued, and I knew to keep tabs on their future shenanigans.


Cheshire Moon is Lizzie Crowe and Eric Coleman, a husband and wife duo with a ton of tricks in their bag of holding. They are solid members of the filk community, though their music may also be classified as "mythpunk." Mythpunk is a genre comprised mainly of songs about mythology, folklore, and storytelling, usually with a twist. Some twists are more sizeable than others. Cheshire Moon's song topics range from Snow White as a bad-ass mage, to the spooky circus equivalent of Brigadoon, to what actually happens in the NYC Public Library when the lights go out. (Hint: it involves cats.) If something includes mischief, mystery, mysticism, or all three, you'll find it in their offerings.


Cheshire Moon tends to compose in a style I can most closely describe as folk rock, with some notable exceptions. As you can see from the above photo, Eric and Lizzie are multi-talented regarding instruments. Lizzie is primarily a vocalist, but she plays a mean fiddle as well, and a mandolin . . .


. . . and probably a few other things with strings. Speaking of, things with strings are Eric's specialty, and I mean almost any variety you can think of. He's playing a guitar immediately above, a cuatro in the photo at the beginning, and a bouzouki in the picture below.


It's gotten to the point where he occasionally does panels on world varieties of plucked string instruments, complete with examples of his personal equipment. I've been to one, and it was both fascinating and entertaining.

To date, Cheshire Moon has produced three full-length albums and two EPs, all for sale on Bandcamp and their dedicated website. You can take a look here for info on where they are performing live.

I leave you with a quote from "Wanderers," one of my favorite Cheshire Moon songs:

Fairy tales are living things
That never have an ending,
An open door can be walked through both ways,
And every tale has something left to say.

What's your favorite fairy tale song? Let us know in the comments!

Note: All photos and videos posted with permission of the artists.

1 comment:

  1. "Banshee" by Cheshire Moon has to be one of my favorite 'Fairy Tale' songs, although "Calvin's Girl" by them hits the mark overtime.