Uncle Bonsai to offer harmonies, wit

COYLE — A folk-pop trio from Seattle will combine music and wit when they perform at Concerts in the Woods at 3 p.m. Sunday.

“Uncle Bonsai is an anomaly in the folk music world with an unusual mixture of music and comedy,” said series organizer Norm Johnson. “They have developed a faithful following of true fans over the years as they have kept their music and humor fresh with the changing times.”

The concert will be at the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center, 923 Hazel Point Road.

Admission will be by donation. Complimentary cookies and coffee will be served at intermission.

The band is includes Arni Adler, Patrice O’Neill and Andrew Ratshin, the group’s guitarist and primary songwriter.

“Imagine what might happen if Tim Burton hijacked the Andrews Sisters en route to a Stephen Sondheim festival with The Beatles and Tom Lehrer in the sidecar; you’d get Seattle super-harmonizers Uncle Bonsai,” said the group’s website at www.unclebonsai.com.

“With just three voices and an acoustic guitar, Uncle Bonsai presents an often dizzying vocal array of intricate harmony. Their songs, dark and hilarious at times, just as often delight with moments of great insight and beauty.”

Uncle Bonsai formed in 1981 when three recent graduates of a tiny college in Vermont migrated to Seattle and found each other in the want ads, according to the band’s biography.

The trio paired with a wide range of artists — Bonnie Raitt, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Tracy Chapman, They Might Be Giants, The Persuasions, The Bobs and Robyn Hitchcock.

Now in its 37th year, the group continues to perform and record new material.

It has eight recordings and, in mid-2013, released its first ever “bedtime book for grownups,” “The Monster in the Closet/Go To Sleep.”

The fully illustrated, reversible, hardcover book for parents features two popular Uncle Bonsai songs, with artwork by Adler and O’Neill, and includes a recording of the songs.

In September 2017, the group released its ninth CD, “The Family Feast: The Study of the Human Condition, First World Problems, and the Lasting Physiological and Psychological Effects of Eating Our Young.”

For more about the Concert in the Woods series, visit coyleconcerts.com.

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