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Playing this summer: Erin Bode Group

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 17, 2012 - Vocalist Erin Bode was born in Minnesota, but she’s certainly gained an enthusiastic and dedicated fan base since moving to the St. Louis area during her high school years.

Bode’s early vocal experience included church choirs and high school musicals, but when she attended Webster University, she began to explore jazz – thanks to the influence of instructor Christine Hitt (also a fine professional singer on the area music scene).

Bode first began playing area clubs in the late 1990s, and by 2001 she had released her first recording, “Requests.” Subsequent recordings for the MAXJAZZ label – 2004’s “Don’t Take Your Time” and “Over and Over” in 2006 – opened the door for performances on the East coast and national TV.

Subsequent recordings included “The Little Garden” and “A Cold December Night” in 2008, and “Photograph” in 2010.

Over the past few years, Bode’s music has focused on a broad musical spectrum with pop influences. And on occasion, her basic backing trio of musicians - bassist/husband Syd Rodway, keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist Adam Maness and drummer Mark Colenbaugh – has been augmented by cello and violin players.

This Thursday, July 19, the Erin Bode Group will be featured at the Bluebird Park Concert Series. Here’s some additional background about the Group … provided by Erin.

HOME: We all live in St. Louis.

AGE: We've been together about 10 years.

INSTRUMENTS: You'll hear a lot of instruments when you hear our music. Primarily and currently: guitar, piano, bass, accordion, melodica, drums and cello.

HOBBIES: Some of our varied hobbies include: Cycling, cooking, beer and learning – especially about beer and golf.

LAST CONCERT ATTENDED: Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman at Jazz at the Bistro, and also Paul Simon at the Fox.

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: We wrote a song called, "The Space Between" for a very special heart patient at St. Louis Children's Hospital to help tell her story. It was wonderful and life changing to get to know her and her family and all the wonderful people at Children's Hospital. Writing this song with my band reminded me that music is a gift that we share with each other.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: I know I speak for everyone in my group when I say that there is nothing else we would rather do than make music. Sharing with our audiences music that we love and are proud of is priceless.

QUOTE:  “Attitudes are a secret power working 24 hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force. -- Irving Berlin

For more info on Erin Bode, and the band’s upcoming performance schedule, go towww.erinbode.com.

Bluebird Park Concert Series

Bluebird Park is located in Ellisville, just off of Manchester Road. Go south on Kiefer Road from Manchester Road, and turn left into the park. The concerts take place Thursday nights from 7 to 9 pm. Performances are free, and the bands play on a stage at the bottom of a natural grassy amphitheater just east of the Rec Center and parking lots. Concessions are minimal, so plan to bring your own food and beverages. No glass bottles. You might find it easier to bring a blanket rather than chairs because of the slope of the hill. The final concert in the series features Billy Peek on July 26. For more info on the series, go to www.ellisville.mo.us.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.