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Memphis Dawls to headline all-women show

By JACK W. HILL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published February 7, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.

— Tennessee music will be showcased this weekend at Maxine’s, but not just the conventional country or rock kind. Three acts will share the stage, and all are female or led by women. The Memphis Dawls will headline, and there should be no question where these three women are based.

Timbre is a Nashville area harpist and singer and Molly Parden, who is also from Nashville, will open the show and then sit in with Timbre.

“Maxine’s is one of our favorite places to play,” says Jana Misener, cello player and singer in the Memphis Dawls. “We were there back in September, I think, and we’ve played at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock.We’ve been a trio for maybe three years after growing up together, going to high school and being in choir together.”

The other two members of the Dawls are Holly Cole on guitar and vocals and Krista Wroten on viola, mandolin,accordion and vocals. Drawing from such influential acts as The Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists and the trio of Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton, The Memphis Dawls played in other groups before returning to their roots and their childhood friendships. Cole has a degree in sculpture from the University of Memphis, Wroten toured with Amy LaVereand Misener played with Giant Bear.

The Dawls released a debut EP in 2011 and have a recent single recorded at the city’s famed Ardent Studios.

“We’ll start work on a fulllength [album] this spring, and hope to do a major tour after the South by Southwest conference in Austin [Texas],” Misener says. “As for touring, we’ll bring as many of our instruments as will fit into a Nissan Versa, plus Jesse Dakota, a guy who’s a great drummer.”

Timbre, whose full name is Timbre Clerpke, explains that being a harpist is not the easiest thing to be, at least on the road.

“It’s very, very difficult to travel with a harp,” she says. “You have to keep the harp in a controlled environment at all times, so you can’t leave it in a car at all, so we bring it in wherever we stay, and when we pack it in the van, everything is packed around it, just so. But it’s worth it, as it’s such a beautiful instrument.”

Timbre has been playing the harp for some 20 years, in her own band and in symphonies, going back to when she was 15. She began learning the instrument at age 8, first in private lessons and then at the college level in Nashville, where she grew up, with a choir director mother and an orchestra director father.

Noting that the only other harpist that she is aware of who also sings is the wellknown Joanna Newsome, Timbre says she learned to do both, thanks to her mother’s direction.

“It should be pretty difficult, but it wasn’t,” she says. “My mother was very talented at leading children to where they sang properly, and when I was 11 or 12 we got invited to sing at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. We had to travel light, and my mother asked me to learn all the piano parts on my harp, so I did, and I sang in the soprano section, also.”

Timbre has released three CDs: Winter Comes to Wake You in April 2008,Little Flowers in May 2010 and Silent Night, a Christmas CD, in November 2011. She toured or recorded with Jack White, Tom Jones, Ricky Skaggs and mewithoutYou. She notes that the harp can bring a new dimension to any musical genre.

“I started improvising on the harp when I was 12 or 13,” she says, “and that makes for a really exciting option, whether it’s in the classical world or with a band. When I’m doing shows with my band, it’s almost all my original songs, but I do have one Radiohead cover I do. That’s a band I’d count as one of my influences, along with Sigur Ros and Bjork. And from the classical world, I’d cite Debussy, Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Timbre will be accompanied by a cellist and Parden, who will provide backing vocals and open the show with her own set.

“I normally have a drummer on tour with me, and Molly’s not a member, but I invited her to open for me and play with me. She has a beautiful voice.”

The Memphis Dawls

Opening acts: Timbre,

Molly Parden

8 p.m. Saturday, Maxine’s,

700 Central Ave., Hot

Springs

Admission: $5 advance,

$7 day of show

(501) 321-0909

maxineslive.com

Weekend, Pages 35 on 02/07/2013

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