Local duo takes listeners on eclectic CD ‘Journey’Written by Scott McKimmy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tapestry, a husband-and-wife duo, recently released its second album, “The Journey,” featuring an eclectic, instrumental mix of original, traditional and pop/rock songs lead by harp and backed by mandolins, wood percussions and six- and 12-string guitars.
Professional musicians Michael and Denise Grupp-Verbon, composers and self-proclaimed entrepreneurs, produce, publish and release all of their own works through their company, Viewpoint Productions, LLC. They also hold workshops, entertain at weddings and other social events, and “try to do everything and anything that is music- related,” Denise said.
“Our vocation and our avocation are luckily the same,” she said. “We feel lucky to be doing not only what we love, but earning a living through it.”
“The Journey” takes listeners along a meandering, melodic path of contemporary hits, such as Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm,” and a two-part medley ending with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” interspersed with historic pieces such as the Scottish folk song, “Wild Mountain Thyme,” the 19th century Welsh number, “The Ash Grove,” and the Irish “air” “The Minstrel Boy,” a tribute to friends lost during a 1798 rebellion in Dublin.
The release follows Tapestry’s 2005 debut, “Variations,” also with a broad range of genres, including classic rock hits “Moondance,” by Van Morrison, “Scarborough Fair,” popularized by Simon and Garfunkel, and the Fab Four’s “Let It Be.” Those who have heard harp music before are often surprised at the versatility of the instrument when listening to the duo’s renditions of well-known songs, Michael said.
“A lot of times what happens is people will hear something like ‘Fields of Gold’ or ‘Riders on the Storm’ or ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and they’ll instantly say to us, ‘I didn’t know the harp could do that,’ ” he said.
Between performances and sessions in their studio, the couple is also organizing and directing “The Harp Gathering,” a three-day event scheduled for May 16 to 18 at Sauder Village in Archbold. The gathering provides harp players and aficionados the opportunity to take instruction, hear concerts, attend workshops and view exhibits. The Grupp-Verbons realized the potential success of a local harp festival after performing at similar events in distant locations.
“What we have done is we regularly perform at various harp festivals, and usually those are coastal festivals either on the East or West Coast,” Michael said. “So we got the idea in our heads that we need one of these festivals in the Midwest, so we decided that we were going to go ahead and organize our own festival geared toward people in the Midwest who don’t want to travel to one coast or other.”
For information, call (419) 478-4177 or visit www.tapestryduo.com.