Channing & Quinn at Winterfest Jan. 27
Channing and Quinn, back where it all started with "Music in the Attic."
The acoustic duo hits the Blowing Rock School Auditorium for an Ensemble Stage-sponsored evening of music with a dash of theatricality Jan. 27 at 8:30 p.m.
For Channing Lee and Quinn Matthews, it's literally like coming home. Lee, a Boone native, and Matthews, an Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance grad, met about eight years ago at the Hayes Performing Arts Center during a run of Blowing Rock Stage Company's "Crossroads" by Bob Inman.
"I came out from ASU to do the lights," Matthews said, "and Channing was one of the actors."
And serendipity took over.
"We just started playing around with me goofing around and playing guitar," he said.
The "playing around" got serious, and the pair moved to Charlotte. After a year in the Queen City, they took off for Nashville, Tenn.
Now, five years later, they're playing full time, and it's a folk sound heard around the East Coast. With nonstop travel, Channing and Quinn have become an unstoppable mesh of "quirky folk pop," and they've got their share of road stories, like the time they were homeless for a few hours in Boston. Stories like that are footnotes in the relationship of an extraordinary pair of performers.
"It's just the two of us," Matthews said.
And, despite the "craziness" of the road, they've stuck together for nearly a decade of soul driven lyrics.
Think Lee's xylophone and Ani DiFranco-like vocals entwined with Matthews' guitar, ukulele and drums.
"It just creates an overall sound," he said.
A sound that Ensemble Stage director Gary Smith hopes to capitalize on with the visuals. The Jan. 27 show is aptly called "Music from the Attic."
"The stage will be set up as if it were an attic in their house," Smith said, "and the music and the stuff in the attic will relate to the music and to the songs. It's just going to be a lot of fun with some good lighting effects. We wanted it to be theatrical, more of a show than just sitting there listening to music."
And Matthews, a theater major, can appreciate theatrics and can't wait to share his song catalogue.
"We've gone through so many different phases of playing at bars and coffee shops," he said. "We're really excited to do a true concert."
Especially in Blowing Rock. While "home" might be in Nashville, the Appalachian Mountains are always in the back of Matthews' mind.
"I feel like Boone is where I kind of discovered my musicianship," he said.
For a preview, check out channingandquinn.com. It all happens at the Blowing Rock Elementary School Auditorium (160 Sunset Drive) at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 27. Tickets are $10 and available by calling Ensemble Stage at (828) 919-6196.