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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Concert preview: Hearth & Hymn at the Clover Room

Samantha Cooper and Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, touching foreheads
John Hanson
Samantha Cooper and Elisabeth Pixley-Fink of Hearth & Hymn

Singing bygone songs in close harmonies with minimal instrumentation is a style Elisabeth Pixley-Fink and Samantha Cooper adapted to almost instantly, even with their eclectic musical backgrounds in alt-rock and roots music. The duo, which formed in 2009, will give a Solstice concert on Sunday, Dec 18 at 4 pm in The Clover Room.

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Cooper says that Pixley-Fink introduced her to many of the songs on their first album, released in 2013. She found them in old hymnals that had come down through her family, like the settings for “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Precious Lord.” Pixley-Fink also played the piano on both of their recordings, with Cooper adding her fiddle expertise. 2019’s release, amusingly titled Lullaby Bangers, continues their discoveries of unusual gems in an eclectic collection that includes a song about lunar phases in “Where is the Moon?” and a 15th century favorite called “The Riddle Song.” The duo talks about some of the solstice highlights they’ll perform on Sunday.

More details and ticket information are available at this event page.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.