BY JON CRONIN
Brought together by Jackson Heights singer Andriette Redmann, Avon Faire is a three part harmony percussion and guitar folk group focusing on traditional storytelling from the past few hundred years of the U.K.’s history.
Redmann and Kath Green had their formal education in opera singing. Redmann and Betsy Long were both singers in their own punk rock bands, “with a smattering of different musical styles.”
Green and Long had sung back up for Redmann before and about three years ago Redmann mentioned her love of folk music to her friends. They got together, sang for a few minutes, realized this was an adventure they all wanted to go on and Avon Faire was born.
Together, they researched the old English folk music in order to fully understand the culture, double entendres, and to convey those meanings. They took each song and changed it to be sung in their unique three part harmony.
“Not a lot of people are doing it anymore and doing it in a fresh way is kinda rebellious,” said Redmann.
At their performances, Redmann said she enjoys seeing people sing along and giggling at the double entendres and moved by the lyrics’depth of feeling. She notes, “Even the curmudgeonly people are moved.”
In New York City, the band has been playing every St. Patrick’s Day at the bar Dorian Gray in the East Village. Around the five boroughs, they perform in community gardens. On June 19, they will be part of the city’s summer solstice celebration, playing at a community garden called DeCollores on East 8th Street at 2 p.m. She said they will also be playing on June 21st at yet undisclosed library in the Bronx as part of the solstice celebration.
Redmann said they had a seven stop and 18 show mini-tour in England last summer over two weeks. “It was so beautiful. The audiences were really sweet.” She said one of their larger performances was the medieval fair The Loxwood Joust, and were invited to play along with a popular folk rock classical crossover European band called The Mediaeval Babes.
They also played at the famous art gallery Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, England, where Long’s father the sculptor Richard Long was having an opening.
They played the historic Walter de Cantelupe Inn near Worcester and performed in Cornwall for a sold-out show at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.
The band was recently invited to perform at a medieval faire in Tuscany and return to the Loxwood Joust this year.
One of their favorite songs to play is ‘Who’s The Fool Now?’ which Redmann has Triple meanings, “It was passed down as a pub song and sounds like a nursery rhyme,” she said, but is actually a rebellious song mocking King Henry VIII after he knocked down the catholic monasteries.
Currently the band is putting together their first CD, a collection of their most heartfelt 11 songs. On their website they state, “The 11 songs of “Riddles and Love Songs” are a charming blend of classic, melodic, entertaining tales of love and mysteries, such as “All Around My Hat”, “Riddles Wisely Expounded,” “T Stands For Thomas, I Suppose”, “Salley Gardens“ and “Wild Mountain Thyme (Will Ye Go, Laddie, Go)”. We’ve fallen in love with the beauty of this music from centuries past, enjoyed creating arrangements around our voices, and are committed to passing this tradition of wonderful songs on to you. Their lyrics are deep in meaning, and still resonate today.”
The band is asking fans and lovers of the genre to support and donate at their Indiegogo crowd funding page https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/avon-faire-riddles-and-love-songs–4#/
They have recorded the instruments and vocals, but Redmann pointed out, “It takes hours and hours of polishing, still in that process. Then we have to mix it, then we have to press and do artwork, then the promotion.”
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin