Victor & Penny are coming to town to share some Top 40 hits at Eddie McStiff’s on Thursday, June 27.
You may not know many of the tunes or be able to sing-along, because these were popular tunes from 40, 60 and maybe even 100 years ago.
Jeff Freling and Erin McCrane of Kansas City, Mo., call their style “antique pop” and have been on a nationwide tour sharing family-friendly songs for the last year and a half.
The two are traveling through Moab on their way to Cedar City for the Groovefest on June 29.
“We’re doing an hour-long set,” McCrane said. “Later that evening we are leading a ukulele workshop.”
Moab was right on their route.
“We heard great things about about Moab,” Freling said. “We’re excited to be there.”
Freling plays a vintage guitar. McCrane plays a ukulele that is a “beloved family instrument.” Her father bought it in Germany in 1952 and gave it to her in 2010.
“It was about six months after that that we read the New York Times articles about Eddie Vedder,” Freling said.
Vedder produced the album “Ukulele Songs” in 2011, a solo album that features only Vedder and a ukulele.
“I bought his album when it first came out. It was about the same time that I got serious about it,” McCrane said. “That just encouraged me more because someone else was doing it.”
Freling said the show is “high energy.”
“Jeff is kick-ass on jazz guitar,” McCrane said.
“No one plays a ukulele like Erin does,” Freling said. “It’s jazz guitar and ukulele. You don’t see that everyday.”
The two have done what they call “sonic archaelogy”, to go and dig up lesser known songs from American history.
“These are amazingly well-constructed melodies,” McCrane said. “It has inspired us to write some of our own, to share the discovery of what this music means to us.”
The two have just completed their second album “Side by Side”. Their first was “Antique Pop”. They invite fellow musicians to join them on their albums.
“There is more instrumentation on the albums. We record with extra soloists,” Freling said.
However, on tour it is just the two of them.
“We have to commit to each other on the stage and to the audience. If one makes a mistake the audience knows it,” McCrane said. “We’re all in it together. I like the challenge of the duo and the immediacy of it.”
The two recently returned from a residency at Escape to Create in Florida, where they researched a little known songwriter from the ’40s and ’50s. They didn’t reveal the artist, but said that their next recording will feature his songs and songs they’ve written that are inspired by his work.
“We hope to have it available by this fall or winter,” Freling said.
What: Victor & Penny
When: 7 to 10 p.m., Thursday, June 27
Where: Eddie McStiff’s, 57 S. Main St.
These are amazingly well-constructed melodies.”