I'm very happy to introduce today's guests for "Celebrating Crafts and Christmas" week -
The Vogts Sisters!
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.
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…
- 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."
Here are some samples of their lovely music:
"Cotton Waltz" ~ Written by Maggie Vogts
"Rainy Days" ~ Written by Maggie Vogts
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.