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Anna & Elizabeth: The Invisible Comes To Us Tour
The Spot on Kirk
Roanoke, VA
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Anna & Elizabeth: The Invisible Comes To Us Tour
Their show is like no other. Through their immersive creative process and bold interpretations, Anna & Elizabeths visionary partnership pioneers new ways of presenting old songs and stories to modern audiences. Since 2011, with a deep and shared love of old Appalachian music, they stand at the vanguard of tradition and the avant-garde, transforming traditional music with innovative, modern arrangements.Their captivating performance integrates visual art, movement and experimental film with breathtaking harmonies.

The performance magic comes from unique strengths of each artist: Elizabeth LaPrelle, lauded as the finest traditional singer of her generation, is rooted in rural Virginia and a lifetime of singing ballads.Anna Roberts-Gevalts musical path has led her from the kitchens of Kentucky banjo elders to sessions in Brooklyns thriving experimental music world. A master instrumentalist, Anna is the bands arranger and driving force.

The Invisible Comes to Us is a new album from the pioneering partnership of Anna & Elizabeth. Released on the significant Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the record is a spellbinding reconfiguration of ancient folk ballads that sees the duos immersion in Appalachian music move to a place of boundless experimentation.

They combine two powerful and very distinct voices. Elizabeth LaPrelle was raised in rural Virginia and is frequently lauded as the finest traditional singer of her generation. Anna Roberts-Gevalt is a multi-instrumentalist whose musical curiosity has taken her from old time fiddling in Kentucky to a more recent immersion in Brooklyns avant-garde community. Together they find new ways to tell old stories of love, loss and intrigue, while relishing the tension that arises between their very different backgrounds and orthodoxies; holding firm to the roots of the music while removing the limits of how that music can be played and presented.

Joining the duo on The Invisible Comes to Us are drummer Jim White of The Dirty Three, and experimental pedal steel player Susan Alcorn, whose perceptive musicianship helped create the sonic world that Anna and Elizabeth visualised for these songs, a world that also brought in brass, woodwinds and synths. The album was co-produced by Anna with Benjamin Lazar Davis from avant-pop outfit Cuddle Magic, who brought new technologies and tools to the pairs recording process; while his partiality for structure and detail acted as a welcome counter-force to Annas more intuitive composing methods.

Many of the ideas for the record were stitched together during artist residencies that Anna and Elizabeth undertook at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, following a year of song collecting. The result is a record where the sounds themselves are integral to the retelling of these tales, alongside the sometimes cryptic and complex narratives of the sung and spoken words.

These are songs we first heard in small archives in our home states, Vermont and Virginia, the duo wrote in the sleeve notes to the album. Recordings made in living rooms and kitchens, of songs learned in childhood. The characters, and the landscapes they occupied, grew rich in our minds. This record grew out of the desire to show you the world we saw in these songs.

This is not an exercise in nostalgia, nor some notion of a simpler, purer time. Although Anna and Elizabeth arent singing about their own lives, theyve imagined themselves within the settings of these songs. Finding empathy, for example, in the heart-breaking loneliness of Farewell To Erin; pairing Elizabeths piercing lament with drones and pedal steel that evoke an unchanging ocean. Annas contemplative vocal that begins Jeano and Jeanette is suggestive of a woman full of wisdom with no way for her profound and true words to be heard beyond the small town around her. With a more inscrutable ballad such as The Irish Patriot, fragments of sound (inspired by the collage work of Philip Jeck) create a light-dappled forest from which the songs mysterious old man emerges. The troubled meandering mind of the Old Virginia Rambler is illustrated by Elizabeth and Jim Whites purposefully listless interplay. Throughout the record we hear a unique palette of influences that include Laurie Anderson, the poetry readings of Patti Smith, chopped storytelling inspired by NPRs Radiolab, Irish folk heroes Paul Brady and Andy Irvine, Dublin group Lankum, and the conceptual work of Meredith Monk and Fluxus movement composers.

With The Invisible Comes to Us, Anna & Elizabeth are revealing what they find buried between the lines of traditional music; showing us what they see. The result is an immersive, novelistic and groundbreaking exploration of old and nearly-forgotten songs.


Simply amazing.

-No Depression Magazine

Heartbreakingly great.

-Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire)

They brought many of us to tears with some of the most yearning harmonies Ive heard at theTiny Desk...Take a deep breath and soak it all in.

- Bob Boilen (NPR MUSIC)

Impossibly intimate, an experiment of the timelessness of human thought and emotion, right here and now. One of my favorite bands around.

-Abigail Washburn

Im consistently knocked out by the way they combine the raw materials mined from traditional American music and culture with a highly creative, open-minded approach to art to create something visceral and surprising.

-Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers)

They bring past lives to the present through exquisite music, storytelling and their wonderful stage presence.

-Brighton Festival

This is pure folk musicit doesnt get much better than this.

-Folk Alley


The Spot on Kirk (View)
22 Kirk Ave
Roanoke, VA 24011
United States


Music > Experimental
Music > Folk

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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