Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sounds of Carnival Hearts & Arts

Olivia Rose Muzzy

Often found playing her double bass barefoot; Olivia enchants her audiences with haunting layers of sound. She truly uses every part of her bass to make sweet melodies. Whether Olivia's tapping on her bass with a drumstick, picking the strings with her fingertips or using her bow, the sounds she makes will leave you wanting more. Her voice will grab you from the first note and not let go until she feels the time is right.

Ellis Bell

Front man Vincent Peiffer draws his band’s name from the pen name of author Emily Brontë. You might remember her little novel titled Wuthering Heights. A hopeless romantic and storyteller in his own right, Vincent Peiffer weaves tales that make you linger on every word. Vincent, Kendall, and Max’s acoustic stylings are a perfect fit for their long narratives.

Sam Knutson

Sam is a staple here in Iowa City. You might have seen him doing sound at The Mill or more likely seen one of his bands performing around town. Shame Train and Shame Stevens are equally amazing. Sam’s first album arrived in 1994. His musings on love often leave the listener hopeful things are going to work out.


Hailing from the fertile soil of Ames, IA, Pennyhawk sings songs about family, pain, and love. Their vocal harmonies so crisp and sweet like an apple ripe for the picking. They have a bit of witty gypsy jazz in them too. Kate and her band will keep you on the edge of your seats wanting more.

Phil Ochs of Star City

Born and raised in Iowa City, Phil has been playing the guitar forever. He uses his trusty electric while performing in front of people, but plays his acoustic to his cat Panda Bear at home. Phil has traveled form Belfast, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii and back again. He writes songs about stingrays, exploding stars, extinct flowers and distant planets. Phil sings in a voice only audible to whales, dolphins and Jupiter. Mr. Ochs enjoys making comic books and movies when not creating music.


With music that could easily fit in a Hitchcock film, Chris and Matt create songs using a table full of gadgets and wires. Electric guitar is also used, but rather than playing straightforward chords, LWA is more interested in the other sounds they can force it to do. They create a cacophony of sound that is capable of making your brain explode.

Coyote Slingshot

Pioneering the Fairfield sound, Dominic Rabalais of Coyote slingshot will bring his punk ensemble to the Carnival this year. He performed with his other band Utopia Park at the inaugural Hearts & Arts Festival. Dominic’s catchy riffs and witty lyrics will keep you entertained for hours. In his words, “terrible times call for brave time punk loudness.”


Mumfords is a band named after the jazz drummer Don Munford who briefly lived in Ames and sowed the seeds for a local music scene. The band started as a folky project with yelling and screaming and grew into a freaky horn-oriented dance band. The live shows have a fun-loving party vibe but are also vaguely evil. Mumfords has released an EP and a full-length album. In October, they are releasing a 7" split with Samuel Locke Ward and the Boo Hoos. There is another full-length album on the way for 2011 as well as two more 7" releases.

Samuel Locke Ward & the Screaming Babies

Local DIY hero and long time staple in Iowa City, Sam Locke Ward will be performing one of two shows ever with the late great Ed Gray & amazing Ross Meyer backing him. Releasing his first material way back in 1997, Sam has steadily been gaining strength and popularity. With nine solo albums under his belt, Sam will be performing from his back catalog as well as a bunch of new tracks off his recent effort titled Barely Regal Beagles.

The Hot Club

An Iowa City incarnation of The Hot Club of Davenport with two guitars, bass, drums, and a bit of singing. Expect jazz standards from the 20's-40's along with the traditional gypsy jazz repertoire. These folks will have you on you feet dancing to the beat within seconds of their opening song.


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