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Come for the experience, stay for the Acoustic Eidolon's music at The Tassel in Holdrege

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Acoustic Eidolon

Based in Berthod, Colo., Acoustic Eidolon plays Celtic, flamenco and Americana music — with a twist that makes each song unique.

HOLDREGE — The music of Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire connects on a deeper level — right down to the molecules.

“We had a guitar and a cello built from the wood of the exact same tree,” Alkire said. “That guitar and that cello have a lot in common — like the wood’s DNA.”

The Colorado-based duet performs on guitar and cello, two instruments that Alkire believes have little in common.

“They are so magical because they are opposites,” she said. “The guitar is a very percussive instrument where you strike the strings. It’s fretted — and chordal a lot of the times. The cello is so much like a voice, so lyrical and so drawn out. It can swell and pull back. What’s been magical for us is the depth of these instruments, a depth that we’ve never found in any other musical combination.”

Scott and Alkire perform as Acoustic Eidolon, playing a variety of styles. They will stop in central Nebraska for a 7:30 p.m. show on Friday at The Tassel in Holdrege. The concert is part of the Tassel Performance Season.

“The audience will get treated to an experience of things,” Alkire said. “We find that it’s hard to stick us in a box. People are in for an experience or a bit of an adventure. We basically take people on a little tour around the world with different styles of music. We’re drawn to playing Celtic and flamenco and Americana and all different styles. If one song isn’t your cup of tea, the next thing might be.”

She promised to round out the playlist with some good, old-fashioned classic rock like Queen and Led Zeppelin.

“Between there we tell stories about the music, stories that have come to have meaning for us,” Alkire said. “We also do a lot of original music mixed with the covers so people hear old friends they already know — in the covers — but they also get to meet new music that might resonate with them.”

Scott grew up near Boulder, Colo., where he picked up the guitar as a young teenager. His father suggested he try the 5-string banjo. By the time he was 16, Scott regularly performed at regional bluegrass festivals along the Front Range. At 23, he attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in California where he studied with Robin Ford, Tommy Tedesco, Frank Gambale, Howard Roberts and jazz great Joe Pass.

Scott began to explore alternative guitar tuning and also began learning how to play the guitjo, a combination of a guitar and a banjo.

The two musicians began to perform together in 1998 and then married in 2001.

When it comes to the music Acoustic Eidolon creates, Alkire sees a spiritual element that ties it together.

“There’s definitely not a religious aspect but there is a spiritual part of the music,” she said. “Those threads are woven into everything we do because as people we are always looking at where our story is going; what is getting woven into our story. How can this be part of our story and how can we be stronger for it?”

As a two-time cancer survivor, Alkire recognizes a lot of bumps in the road, something that could have significantly disrupted the lives of Scott and Alkire.

“We’ve always kept searching for ‘what is more meaning’ as opposed to feeling cutoff from everything,” she said. “To me, there is a healing aspect to music, 100 percent. The first cancer diagnosis happened during the first year of Acoustic Eidolon. The music, Joe and my then 2-year-old son were my lifeline that pulled me through that experience at the time. I realized that music is way more than just something people can enjoy. It’s got strength and power — and a way of crossing boundaries, languages and all the ley lines. It connects us on a deeper level.”

Alkire just released a new solo album of music, “Remembering the Sun.” It came out several months before the musician learned that she needed to go through another round of cancer treatments.

“There are lyrics on that CD that I wrote that I couldn’t exactly explain to anybody,” she said. “I had a couple of my friends say, ‘So what is this title track about?’ I said that I knew but I needed to think about how to say it. And then after I started my recent health journey — which I am now through and it’s fine and I’m safe — I found that I could explain the lyrics. There is that quality of music that pulls us through, even when we don’t know what it is that we’re looking for.”

She learned to trust not only the music but the artistry that created the songs.

“If I summed up this new CD in one word, it would be trust,” Alkire said.


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