Tuesday, November 21, 2017


The Pump House, our regional arts center is celebrating its 40th anniversary and Saturday night brought a folk legend to its stage who is no stranger to La Crosse, Claudia Schmidt. Perhaps you've even heard her on Prairie Home Companion... No?  Well, I hadn't been introduced to her music until about 15 years ago when I moved to this area.  Natureman, on the other hand, remembers her from some 30 years ago as she performed with her black lab in tow.

The night's performance included old and new music, poetry and stories we haven't heard before as she shared the stage with talented guitarist Minnesotan Dean Magraw.  
The duo did not disappoint with Schmidt's   
 insightful original lyrics and musicality accompanied by both guitar/mountain dulcimer. Both shared their passion, artistic talents and energies with us through folk, gospel and jazz selections. 

The audience is drawn in during her concerts without much resistance to participate with a chorus/ phrase.  Otherwise one sits mesmerized/ tapping a foot. 

Schmidt, a Michiganer by birth is no stranger to the four seasons especially winter which is the subject of her newest CD release, Hark the Dark.  The stories in her music definite struck a chord  (not intentional pun)  as we caught ourselves with numerous glances at each other, understanding first hand what winter entails living in the woods.  

Schmidt's powerful voice range can't help but transport one through different moods and life's experiences. Isn't that the power of music?

Here's a sampling of youtube links:

one for you to share  Claudia Schmidt's love of winter from 2011 but also showcases her performing joys. You'll love the layering story.

The second Claudia playing with Dean 3 yrs ago 
 MPR's youtube :    Already

and the 3rd from a different 2017 concert. 

Schmidt, a seasoned performer, doing what she obviously loves...

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