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BLACKBIRDS - a male-female, old-young, acoustic-based duo exploring the boundaries of modern folk.
BLACKBIRDS is an experimental collaboration of old and young, experienced and inexperienced, in an effort to create a new sound and have fun in the process. MIKE SLAJCHERT has been in and around the Chicago music scene in rock, folk, blues, and all stops in between since the late 60s. CLAIRE HELLIGE is a student at St. Louis University with experience in student productions. They met as student and teacher and co-workers in a campus ministry project. Whatever income might be generated from this leap into the unknown will be contributed to charitable groups.
Band/artist history
Our history is in our future!
Have you performed in front of an audience?
Mike has been playing several benefits a year with Matt Scharpf, a former member of "Jamestown". As these benefits continue and branch out, hopefully Claire can join in, depending on her school calendar. Mike also does house concerts and may expand that availability in the future with Claire.
Your musical influences
My songwriting owes a lot to Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Steve Earle, Lucinda Wiliams, and a few other lesser-known but extremely talented acoustic musicians - David Wilcox, John Gorka, and Cliff Eberhardt among them. We stay acoustic most of the time, but my inner-Crazy Horse occasionally makes an appearance.
What equipment do you use?
Martin D-15 and Alternative-X guitars; Alvarez 12-string; Fender Precision Bass; Epiphone mandolin; Gibson SG, vintage '64 (when I bought it!); Gretsch lap steel; Yamaha keyboards; Hohner harps; Guild acoustic, vintage '72; Pearl percussion; KORG recording equipment.
Anything else?
This is all for fun and for the greater good. Some of the songs might indicate an antipathy for our current government, richly deserved. All of us can make a difference, one at a time, in changing the world for the better. It happened before (the Civil Rights movement) and it can happen again as long as young people believe in it.
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