Red Tail Ring (www.redtailring.com) is the musical brainchild of two old-time-minded Michiganders Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo. The collaboration blends the loving attention of revivalist fervor with the playful creativity of starting from scratch. Whether rendering a traditional tune or one of their many original compositions, the duo infuses each song with musical imagination, haunting harmonies and instrumental artistry. "We love pushing the boundaries of what a traditional song can be," says Beauchamp. "It informs how we write our original songs. There's a real energy exchange between the old and the new." This two-way connection between old and new takes center stage in Red Tail Ring's studio recordings, which feature Premo and Beauchamp's original songs as well as their interpretations of Appalachian and folk tunes. As Premo explains, "We want to show references of the traditional forms that have inspired us in our new writing."
For Beauchamp and Premo, the duality of Red Tail Ring makes perfect sense. As performers, they balance an enduring regard for the ballads and refrains of times past with a restless desire to create melodies and narratives that resonate with listeners. In Red Tail Ring the duo also taps into each musician's distinct roots. Beauchamp, an Earthwork Music artist who holds a joint degree in Ethnomusicology and English Literature from the University of Michigan (2005), melded his whimsical lyricism with Breathe Owl Breathe for his solo debut My Northern Voices (2008). Premo, who was raised on traditional music in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, pursued art and music at U of M earning a degree in Performing Arts Technology (2010). She also studied traditional Finnish music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland (2008). Premo has lent her talents to more than a dozen recordings in addition to her own albums, Innertwine (2008) and Stung by the Nettle (2009). On stage together Premo and Beauchamp create something rare as they use every facet of their voices and instruments including guitar, fiddle, banjo, octave mandolin, mandolin and jaw harp to connect with audiences.
Beauchamp and Premo formed Red Tail Ring in 2009. During 2010, the duo played more than 100 shows in 11 different states, including festivals and venues in the Midwest, the South and the East coast. Highlights included opening the Hoxeyville Music Festival in Wellston, Michigan which featured Justin Townes Earle, Todd Snider and Greensky Bluegrass; playing twice to enthusiastic crowds at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and bringing their old-time hybrid back to its roots in the Appalachian Mountains by playing the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West Virginia. Along the way, Red Tail Ring turned even raucous barroom listeners into fans of their fiddle, banjo and guitar tunes. At festivals, seasoned grassroots audiences greeted their fresh blend of old and new with surprise and delight. In 2011, Red Tail Ring ventured even further out, and spent a week in performing and teaching in Denmark, where they shared styles and tunes of traditional American music with danish university and high school students. For Premo and Beauchamp, Red Tail Ring encircles their present and future a place where expansion and creativity meet tradition, and thrive.
Foundry Hall (View)
422 Eagle St.
South Haven, MI 49090