The Lark & The Loon

National Release Date: May 10th, ambulance 2016



Songbirds and Fog is the debut release from folk-roots duo, cialis The Lark and the Loon. As accomplished singer-songwriters in the Twin Cities music scene, Rocky Steen and Jeff Rolfzen were aware of each other, but hadn’t actually met until a fortuitous October night when Jeff attended one of Rocky’s shows. The spark was instantaneous and they quickly became fast friends and partners in music and life, marrying within the space of six months. Steen descends from a long line of Eastern Montana prairie folk, who played acoustic music just to pass the time on the farm, while Rolfzen’s love for his state’s native son Bob Dylan, the 60’s folk revival and the early recordings of the 20’s and 30’s, made for natural companions. 

The couple soon struck out for Chicago, immersing themselves in bluegrass and old-time jams around town, building a repertoire at open mics, farmer's markets, and a weekly music residency at a Windy City tavern. In 2014 feeling drawn to concentrate more on their writing, the couple traded the grit and grime of the city for the pretty and peaceful Ozark countryside, where Songbirds and Fog quickly took shape. 

Recorded in their cabin on a 5 acre farm on an Arkansas mountain ridge, Songbirds and Fog, is as rich and down home as the rural landscape that Rolfzen and Steen dwell upon, bringing an old roots music sound to the contemporary field, unvarnished and true. Keeping with the pull up the chair atmosphere of the album, it was recorded mostly live, with little overdub, and mixed to analog tape at The Studio in Springfield MO.  Steen (guitar, autoharp, accordion, washboard, shakers, kick drum) and Rolfzen (guitar, banjo, harmonica, dobro) play all instruments, share vocal duties, and co-wrote all of the songs. Mastering was done by Kim Rosen at Knack Mastering.

The title of the ambitious 19 track album "Songbirds and Fog" is taken from the track "Long Roads," the lyrics going: "Morning brought me songbirds and fog, but it'll clear and it'll quiet before too long." Seasons, birds, weather, and time are themes re-visited throughout the album and delivered with an old-timey rustic authenticity. Beginning with songs of love and couple-ship and moving to songs of remorse, loneliness, and the transformative power of time, overall the album speaks to the unstoppable inertia of life.

The opening track “With Ya” is an upbeat good timey jug band number. “Up On A Cloud” was written after listening to some Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald duets, an ode and attempt to capture the "good old days" of duets and overlapping harmony parts. “Under The Light Of The Moon” explores finding a simple long distance connection with someone, in this case, the moon. “Johnny and Mari,” with its talking blues introduction, tells the tale of two immigrants who share the common language of music.

In support of the new album, The Lark and The Loon will be touring throughout the US, when not gardening, tending to their farm, and transforming the old barn into a venue for house concerts.