Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire, the instrumental duo known as Acoustic Eidolon, bring their “sumptuous instrumental feast” (Dirty Linen) to four Montana towns in February.
The couple first joined forces as a duo in 1998, after discovering they were next-door neighbors. The pairing of double-necked guitjo, a unique banjo/guitar combination created by Scott, with cello proved captivating for both musicians and Acoustic Eidolon was born. What began as a musical/business partnership eventually blossomed into marriage.
Alkire began playing piano at age 4, and cello at 8. The classically trained artist eventually moved from Illinois to the Boulder, CO, area, where she performed in the Boulder Bach Festival, Colorado MahlerFest, and with area symphony orchestras. Eager to stretch herself, Alkire eventually started playing with rock, funk, and alternative groups, performing at various local venues and national events like the South by Southwest festival in Austin. She was also a founding member of the Anasazi String Quartet, whose repertoire included everything from Dvorak to Zepplin, baroque to The Grateful Dead.
Inspired by her own diagnosis and subsequent recovery from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Alkire continues to infuse her music with joy and gratitude. On tour, the couple often adds appearances in schools, hospitals, hospices, and even chemo-infusion rooms to inspire and help others.
Scott grew up near Boulder and its vibrant acoustic music scene, learning guitar at 12 and banjo at 14. At age 23, he attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, where he studied all styles of acoustic and electric guitar with some of the world’s finest guitar players, including Robin Ford, Tommy Tedesco, Frank Gambale, and jazz great Joe Pass. He also started experimenting with different ways of stringing the acoustic guitar, which led to the guitjo.
After graduating, he toured the country extensively playing guitar, banjo, mandolin and vocals with the New Christy Minstrels, a popular 1960’s folk group based in Los Angeles. In 1985 he returned home to Colorado to start Wind Machine with Steve Mesple. The group toured for the next 14 years and released 13 critically-acclaimed recordings, with the last three recorded at his commercial studio.
Acoustic Eidolon’s music blends Celtic, Americana, classical and contemporary folk, with the guitjo sounding at times like a guitar, mandolin, banjo or harp. Twined with Alkire’s soulful cello, the pair make “a sublime acoustic duo,” lauds the Boulder Weekly. Together they’ve toured the world at venues ranging from the Royal National Theatre in London, to the Volcanic Theater in Hawaii, to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Acoustic Eidolon Tour
Mission Valley Live!: 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Ronan Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for ages 18 and under (ages 12 and under must be accompanied by ticketed adult) and available online or at the door.
Big Sky Concert Series: 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Malta High School; 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at Glasgow High School Auditorium; and 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney. Call 406-228-9206 or visit the Northeastern Arts Network on Facebook.