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Annie and Rod Capps

Annie & Rod Capps 2017

The firecracker and the steady flame

by Sandor Slomovits

From the July, 2017 issue

The relaxed, celebratory community feel of the Summer Festivals Top of the Park is a perfect backdrop for the music of Annie and Rod Capps. Relaxed, celebratory, and community are also terms that describe their performances. Being at one of their shows is like attending a big family picnic and having a really talented aunt and uncle get up and play songs you loved at last years get-togetherwhich youve not forgottenas well as some theyve written since the last time you heard themwhich youll remember to ask for when you next see them. Annie and Rod have been married for twenty-three years and have played music together for over thirty, and the warmth and ease between them personally and musically is very inviting. They each draw your attention and admiration in different ways and never seem to compete for the limelight.

Annie is the firecracker who flickers and sparkles on stage, seemingly spinning and bouncing even when shes almost standing still, while Rod is the steady flame, exuding calm and warmth. Annies distinctive and endearingly youthful voice belies the sadder-but-wiser tone of her sometimes sweet, occasionally bittersweet lyrics. Rods guitar tone and vibrato are enviable, and his fills and solos seem effortless, whether theyre spare or speedy. Hes not locked into clichd patterns or a prisoner of the dots on the fret board; he lets his ears and heart guide his fingers.

Annie is a prolific songwriter with a wide range of topics. Her songs are filled with small, specific, telling details that ground them in reality. If I lived in this town, I would get myself a job, tending bar at Davys Joint, I like it there, its nice and dark. They also grapple with the universal experiences and emotions of love, loss, and the hope of renewal. In this town I could be happy, in this town Id make new friends, in this town I could be Isabel, and I could start all over

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again. She can also be mischievous and just plain fun. Honey, sugar, baby mine, honey, baby would you be so kind, tell the other girls to go get in some other line, cause youre mine, honey, sugar, baby mine. Rod crafts the just-right accompaniments, echoes and supporting lines that complement the songs myriad musical styles, from folk and old-time to country, Western swing, and even Djangoesque bits. Youve barely recovered from having your heartstrings tugged by an Annie lyric when Rods guitar strings pull your feet to tapping and your hands to clapping.

Annie and Rods many fans are undoubtedly hoping for good weather on Sunday, July 2, when they will help close out this years Top of the Park. If youve never heard them, it will be a great time and place to be introduced.     (end of article)

[Originally published in July, 2017.]


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