- Jeremy Facknitz
- Life’s a beach: Lindsay Weidmann and Jeremy Facknitz are teaming up for a full-band performance at Stargazers on Nov. 1.
“Lindsay and I used to perform more as a duo before we had kids,” explains Facknitz. “Now, should we grab a free night together, we prefer to go out to eat, or, you know, actually talk to each other rather than perform.”
That said, whenever Lindsay and Jeremy do combine talents, their audiences are in for a singular treat. One need look no further for evidence than the pair’s collaborative 2012 LP Small Lives, a collection of luscious, urbane folk-pop. Tracks like the string-kissed ballad “Pick Me Up” and the amiable shuffle of “March to Boston” exude elegance and charm, showcasing Weidmann and Facknitz’s warm vocals and clever lyrics.
The pair first met at Rico’s in 2009, the same year that both artists were nominated for “Solo Performer of the Year” in the Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards.
(Incidentally, speaking of awards, Detroit native Facknitz received a 2001 Detroit Music Award for “Best New Alternative Group” with his band The Ottomans, edging out competitors including none other than The White Stripes.)
While the Pikes Peak Arts Council honors went to Cahalen Morrison that year, Facknitz and Weidmann found chemistry.
“We decided someday we’d tour together, which finally happened in the summer of 2010,” says Facknitz. “We toured the Pacific Northwest, and it was a financial disaster. Even though it wasn’t my first time up there and I thought I had made an impression on people, we played for empty chairs most nights. But we fell in love, and now we’re married with two kids. In that way, it was a huge success.”
For their upcoming Stargazers performance, empty seats certainly shouldn’t be a problem. The two will be backed by a full band featuring David Siegel and Mike Kimlicko, who appeared on their album, guitarist Benjamin Pratt, drummer Teddy Nazario and keyboardist John Standish.
They will also share the stage with, as Facknitz puts it, their “far more famous” friend, award-winning, Chicago-based singer-songwriter Edie Carey. Carey’s eight LPs have earned critical acclaim for her wry and eloquent songwriting, and she has shared stages with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Brandi Carlile and Shawn Mullins.
Looking ahead, local music fans can catch Weidmann playing solo at Sacred Grounds Cafe on Saturday, Nov. 10. Facknitz, who has already enjoyed a busy year of performances across the country (including an appearance at Austin’s Kerrville Folk Fest in May) will be giving a series of performances in his home state of Michigan in early November. He’s also planning a five-week tour of western Canada in 2019, and is set to perform again at Stargazers next year, backed by a string ensemble.
As ambitious as that performance lineup is, it’s still a departure from the musician’s previous schedule of 80 to 100 shows per year. After falling ill with viral meningitis in July of last year, he realized he should become more selective — fewer bars, more house concerts, folk clubs and listening rooms across the country.
“When I got sick, I realized I wasn’t going to live forever, and it was time to make some changes. I don’t miss playing to little more than the din of drunken conversation, and I’m lucky to have the chance to go in a different direction.”
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