Ancestra writes and sings original a cappella music from the heart, with an instrument thrown in here or there. We focus on the blend of our voices, challenging ourselves with moving harmonies, dissonance and fun.
With rock, celtic, country and blues as our influence, we're definitely, unique.
Our first CD, You Remind Me of Someone, is complete. New songs keep on arriving via the muse, so another CD could be in the works soon!
Ancestra completed two songs for a multimedia CD they produced for the launch of First Peace in New Mexico. See our video on Living First Peace.
Our blend of voices is purposeful to avoid differentiation of who sings which parts. Much of each line 'weaves' with the next. The falsetto voice in My Baby is the same low voice in Great Spirit; the lead in You Remind Me of Someone is the high part in Autumn Changes. The melody in Translucent Moon is the doo-doos in Harvest Soup. We each have flexible vocal ranges that we exercise to the limits!
Blues, Celtic, Country, Gospel, Folk, Rock, Tribal
The Beatles, The Indigo Girls, The Roches, Loreena McKennitt, Trio Mediaeval, Ulali, Wailin' Jennys, Walela, Chris Williamson
Ancestra received five nominations in 2008 Madison Area Music Awards with our first album:
- Best Unique Artist
- Best Folk/Americana Artist
- Best Unique Album: You Remind Me of Someone
- Best World Song: Beat of the Drum
- Best Vocal Ensemble: Right Now
Our current group consists of: Carol, Kathryn, Lauranne (LuLu). We began writing and arranging our own music in 2003. We decided we wanted to enter a song or two in the MAMAs (Madison Area Music Awards) and next thing you know we're in the studio recording a full-length album. Maggie Delaney-Pothoff (Harmonious Wail) was our producer for our first project, completed in 2007.
You'll find us opening up for poetry readings, sharing our music in churches, singing to raise money for Second Harvest, performing at neighborhood block parties and lightening the load for those transitioning out of this life.
Way back when...
Carol and Kathryn went to grad school together in the 70s. Kathryn and LuLu have known each other since the late 80s.
In the 90s, Kathryn and LuLu took voice lessons from the same coach at different times...and one night at Fyfe's Bistro, the two conversed and agreed to sing together. Thus...the beginnings of Ancestra was formed in 1999.
Carol has been singing for as long as she can remember. She had her first solo at the tender age of five in a Christmas pageant. Through high school, she participated in chorus and madrigal, church choir and in state music competitions with her sister. Carol has spent over a decade singing with Unity Choir and also sings spiritually-based music with the Unichicks. She began writing music in 2003 and continues to enjoy writing and creating music with Lauranne and Kathryn. Carol also sings with the Threshold Singers of Madison.
Kathryn, a third generation singer, has been vocalizing since 1975 in various ensembles, mostly singing spiritual and healing music. She began songwriting by making up silly songs for her kids when they were little. She loves nothing better than to harmonize with others, especially her two children who are now 16 and 19. She also sings with Uncle Stan's A Cappella Band, which includes her husband and Lauranne's husband.
LuLu started singing in public in community theater as a young adult. Soonafter, she made her way to lead singing with Madison-area bands: Rendezvous, Timberline and Buckskin Annie and the Blue Coyote Band (BABCB). Tired of the smoky bars scratching out bad numbers on her vocal chords, she gave up the rock and country/blues bands when she asked Kathryn to sing together. LuLu is grateful for having performed with jazz violinist (and pianist) Randy Sabien, drummer Clyde Stubblefield and bassist Jeff Eckels. While in BABCB, LuLu wrote and recorded two original songs. Now she contributes regularly to Ancestra's pool of tunes.