Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Celebrating Crafts and Christmas with The Vogts Sisters!


I'm very happy to introduce today's guests for "Celebrating Crafts and Christmas" week -  
The Vogts Sisters! 

If you've been following my blog for a while, you're probably aware of my love of bluegrass music. (You can read more about it HERE.) And if you've been following my blog since the beginning, you might recall the day I hosted author Deborah Vogts for the "End of Summer Bash" in 2010. Well, imagine my excitement when I discovered Deborah Vogts' daughters are bluegrass singers/musicians! They recently released their first CD, Old Time Noise.

Keep on reading to learn more about these talented sisters - and about their giveaway!

***

Amber: Welcome, Maggie and Abigail! One Dictionary.com definition of the word “craft” is: “an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill…” How did you get started in the music “craft,” and what special skills do each of you contribute to your band?
  • Maggie: I don’t really see myself as a craftsman (craftswoman?) – simply because I haven’t put as much work toward our singing as a true craftsman would. I tend to give more time to school projects, and look upon the music as a de-stresser. Abbey provides most of the instrumentals. Once in a while I dare to bring out the fiddle or guitar or the harmonica (the last of which is a new addition). Mostly I sing harmony, because I’m not a very good player. Not that that means I’m a good singer. I’ve also written a few songs, three of which are on our new album. 
  • Abigail: I started taking guitar lessons from one of our pastors in 2009 after receiving a acoustic guitar for a Christmas present from our parents. Pastor John Stubenrouch insisted that I sing as I learned each song . . . and well, gracious, I’ve been singing ever since. Then about a year ago, Maggie and I started singing harmony together for fun. Our folks loved it (but mom and dad love everything we sing.) We decided to try our songs out on the rest of the world when we participated in the Katy Days Got Talent competition in Parsons, Kansas last May. And we made it to the final round—which amazed us. We entered a few more competitions and did well, which brings us to where we are now. We released our first CD, Old Time Noise, this past November. I’m currently learning to play the mandolin and fiddle, which I love. 

Amber: It sounds like you two have been doing very well for yourselves! I love that your passion - as well as your humility - shines. =) 

Please share one of your favorite singers/musicians/bands. In what ways does he/she/it inspire you to keep working on your craft? 
  • Maggie: We really like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, as well as Alison Krauss. Really, our singing together (as willing participants) began with Gillian Welch’s “Down Along the Dixie Line” from The Harrow and the Harvest. When I first heard it, I cried. That was that. Alison Krauss is an artist we’ve known of for a long time, but we rarely touch her songs. Why bother? She has angel pipes. And she makes me cry. That seems to be the key – if someone can make either of us cry (usually me…), we tend to love them. 
  • Abigail: Two bands come to mind—the Wailin' Jennys and Alison Krauss (with Union Station)—just because they’re awesome. We aren’t necessarily inspired, but rather humbled when we hear such bands. They just aren’t from Earth . . . they’re aliens. It’s good to be humbled, and thankfully, we are often.
Amber: Definitely good to be humbled! I think it's also good to acknowledge the talent God has given you as you give Him the glory with it. =) And I'm also a fan of Alison Krauss! 

So, what do you hope to share through your craft? 
  • Maggie: Just love for good music. We realize there are going to be a lot of people who don’t like this style. But there will be those who appreciate it – the stories and the heartbreak and the loss. Good stuff. 
  • Abigail: An appreciation for good music, because it seems that today’s standards of music are shamefully low. It’s very easy to like a song because of its melody, while the words are TERRIBLE. So we are always careful of that in our music. All in all, it’s not about us, it’s about God’s glory, not our own. 

Amber: Good stuff, indeed! Do either of you have any other crafts you enjoy?
  • Maggie: Again, I don’t consider myself a craftsman because I haven’t dedicated a lot of time to the activities. However, I have hobbies – writing, riding horses, making documentary-like videos. 
  • Abigail: I really enjoy photography and drawing portraits. I also love to read and write, and of course there’s the music… 
Amber: Since the Christmas season is upon us… Will you be doing something special this season that involves your craft?
  • Maggie: Apart from the upcoming concert? Nothing that I’m aware of. Oh, we’ll probably sing a lot at home – just for fun. 
  • Abigail: We’ll be opening for Jimmy Fortune and T Graham Brown at an upcoming concert this weekend, and after that we’re just going to enjoy the Christmas season and probably go caroling.

Amber: Sounds great! And singing just for fun is nice. =) Do you have a favorite Christmas song?
  • Maggie: Impossible! "Silent Night" is somewhere at the top, though. 
  • Abigail: I don’t really have a favorite song. But I love hearing and singing the old Lutheran Christmas hymns that I’ve grown up with. Maybe "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come," or "The First Noel," or "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."
Amber: Thank you both so much for taking the time to answer my questions and visit with us today!

***

Listen!

Here are some samples of their lovely music:

"Cotton Waltz" ~ Written by Maggie Vogts

"Rainy Days" ~ Written by Maggie Vogts

Giveaway!


The Vogts Sisters have generously offered to give away a physical copy of their CD, Old Time Noise!

To enter, just leave a comment with your e-mail address. Please note that you must have a U.S. mailing address in order to enter the drawing. A winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday, December 7th.

30 comments:

Carissa said...

It's great to see that the younger generations still love Bluegrass. I grew up listening to Bluegrass and love it, I guess it comes from growing up in the Bluegrass State.(In more ways than one)

Carissa
belovedgraceful(at) bellsouth(dot)net

Julie said...

Wow! What a talented family! Author momma and the girls with such beautiful voices. Loved the two songs you posted, so pretty :)

gravesok(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Lovely! Thank you for introducing us to this talented duo!
Knusbaum @ mchsi.com

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I'm a long time fan of Deborah and now of her daughters. Thank you for the nice feature! ;-)

billsmith2003 (at) gmail.com

Abigail Richmond said...

richmond.abigail@gmail.com
If I won I would like the cd.
My name is Abigail too. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of these girls! So pure!

tbina@usd397.com

Amanda Stanley said...

Hi Amber! Sorry I'm a little late to the celebration, my friend!

It's so funny because just this morning as I was cleaning my room I saw my beloved copy of Snow Melts in Spring by the very talented Deborah Vogts and thought, "I need to reread this soon!" Then I get here and see she has 2 daughters that are equally as talented as their mama but in music!!

My love for bluegrass/country music is fairly new - being from the Northeast it's not a sound I grew up with or hear often 'round these here parts ;-) Actually, I think it was YOU who got me into more of the bluegrass stuff with Cherryholmes! And now you've introduced me to the beautiful music of The Vogts Sisters! LOVE their voices and I think the cover of their cd is so pretty! Soooo adding this my Christmas list =D

Would love to win a copy of their cd!! Thank you, and sweet Maggie and Abigail for the chance!!!

Blessings,
Amanda
mrose608{at}gmail{dot}com

Anonymous said...

Hi. I love to hear Maggie and Abbie sing. It is so exciting that they have done a CD. Beautiful. I wish them many blessings as they have blessed me so much with their voices of light! Darla Stubenrouch
jazzy4john@yahoo.com

Debbie Lehman said...

Great Job Girls! Can't wait to hear the entire CD. Blessings, Debbie

deblehman@ckt.net

Amber S. said...

Carissa,

I agree! I appreciate those who appreciate bluegrass. :) It's a beautiful, sometimes emotional and sometimes fun, genre of music, in my opinion!

Thanks for stopping by! I imagine the Bluegrass State is a great place in which to grow up. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julie,

I agree - on all counts! Such lovely voices! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Anonymous (Knusbaum),

My pleasure! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Dr. Bill Smith,

That's great! I'm really quite thrilled to host them here. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Abigail,

It's a very pretty name! :) Good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

That is too fun! Love when things work out like that! :)

And I'm so happy I got to introduce you to one of my favorite genres of music! :) Aren't their voices - and the CD cover - super pretty?? I told my mom that I think I might like to add this to my Christmas wish-list, too. ;)

I'm glad you stopped by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Anonymous (tbina),

Agreed! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Darla,

Love your comment! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Debbie,

I know, right? :) Thank you for visiting, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Note to self: Enter Danie in the CD giveaway. :) (Refer to Goodreads messages!)

Unknown said...

....This is from Abigail Vogts....hahaha:) You guys are so KIND!!! THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO BLUEGRASS/FOLK!!!! IMPECCABLE! hhahahah:) Oh my..well, I just wanted to say thank you for the humbling comments and very generous things said.

-Abigail

Unknown said...

...oh good grief
CORRECTION *people in the world who like*........for goodness sake. haha

Deborah Vogts said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by to say hello. And thanks, Amber, for having The Vogts Sisters on your blog. This past year has been so very exciting for us as we delve into the performance/music world. Most of all, it's amazing to see how God works through the lives of his people. Best wishes to everyone and may you each have a Very, Merry Christmas!

Kathy Gronau said...

I am not particularly a blue grass fan but I LOVE LOVE LOVE these girls music!
kathyfae@gmail.com
Kathy Gronau
700 N Summit
Girard,Ks 66743

Amber S. said...

Abigail,

Wonderful to see you here! Thank you for taking the time to visit! :)

And yes, there are people who like bluegrass!! ;) I love it - so please keep up the great work!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Deborah,

It's been my pleasure! :) It's definitely amazing and exciting to see God at work through His people!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Kathy,

Well, that's definitely saying something about The Vogts Sisters' God-given talent. :) Thank you for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to see two young girls using their talents for the Lord! Merry Christmas!

Karen McCoy
nerak65_99@yahoo.com

Cindy Regnier said...

I love your mom's books - can't wait to hear you girls sing! I just know it sounds like beautiful poetry
ksucindy(at)excite(dot)com

Pam K. said...

I may be too late for the giveaway (hope not) but want to say I really enjoyed the interview and music clips. I wish the girls much success as they use the talents given by God.

pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Amber S. said...

Karen, Cindy, and Pam:

Thank you all for stopping by! "Beautiful poetry" is a great description for The Vogts' Sisters music, and I'm so glad you all enjoyed the interview!

As for the giveaway, all of this week's winners were announced earlier today. I've heard back from two of the winners, but if the winner of this giveaway doesn't e-mail me back, I'll include you three in the re-drawing.

I hope you all have a merry Christmas! :)

~Amber