Get ready for the upcoming performances in the library’s Summer Concert Series! Concerts are at 7 p.m. every Thursday night in July and August at East End Veterans Memorial Park. Every Monday, Free for All will offer an article or interview with the band of the week. The following is an interview with Mark Kilianski of this week’s band, Hoot and Holler.
What made you decide to become a musician?
As an awkward and angsty 13 year old, I found it difficult, and frustrating, to express myself and connect with peers socially. At the time, I loved heavy metal music, and picking up electric guitar helped me do those things. The friendships and happiness I found in musical connection mellowed me out considerably, and initiated a journey through blues, jazz, and now, bluegrass and folk music.
How would you describe your sound?
Hoot and Holler is the combination of Amy Alvey’s fiddling and my guitar playing, with both of us singing. Amy’s got a soft, sweet voice, and mine is more animated and rowdy. We meet in the middle, and blend together the best we can. Amy plays a mean fiddle, very rich and rhythmic. I like to push the songs forward with big fat guitar chords, and take big fat guitar solos. Our sound is mostly derived from Appalachian string band music, but our blues, rock, and jazz influences peek out sometimes too.
What is your songwriting process like?
Amy writes songs in 5-10 minutes. I let an idea stew for about 6-24 months and then spend an excruciating afternoon with pen and paper working it out. It’s all stuff that comes from personal experience, sometimes obviously, sometimes more subtly. The point is to write folk songs, stuff people can relate to without being to brainy or esoteric.
Which artists have been your biggest musical influences, and what is it that draws you to their music?
As a band, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings are a major inspiration, and a lot of the old guys like Bill Monroe, Arthur Smith, Uncle Dave Macon, Hank Williams, and Norman Blake.
Please tell us about any albums you have available or in production.
We’ve got a new EP called Nothing If Not Young that we released last fall. It’s all original songs and tunes. We also each released a solo album prior to the solidification of this project, which are again, all original material.
What should people expect when they come to your concert on Thursday night?
People can expect songs about losing love, looking for love, finding love, nature, humanity, despair, joy, and of course, rambling. Classic folk themes with boy-girl harmonies, backed by fiddle and guitar.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
More about the Summer Concert Series:
Concerts will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings in July and August at East End Veterans’ Memorial Park. Bring a blanket or folding chair, and maybe even a picnic dinner, and enjoy live acoustic music from a new performer each week. East End Veterans’ Memorial Park is located at 45 Walnut Street. The concert schedule is as follows:
July 9th: Damn Tall Buildings
July 16th: Hoot and Holler
July 23rd: Colleen White and Sean Smith
July 30th: Semi-Aquatic Rodent
August 6th: Molly Pinto Madigan
August 13th: Eva Walsh
August 20th: Ian Fitzgerald
August 27th: The Whiskey Boys
Please note: In the event of rain, Summer Concerts will be held in the Sutton Room at the Peabody Institute Library and food will not be allowed.
For more information, please call 978-531-0100 ext. 10, or visit the library’s website at www.peabodylibrary.org.