The first Kawfee Haus of the semester on Jan. 17 featured the singer/songwriter couple Ben and Emily Roberts of Carolina Story.
Opening for Carolina Story was Zen and Jane, another singer/songwriter couple and graduates of Malone. Carolina Story performed in chapel on Tuesday before the Kawfee Haus that night.
The opening group, Zen and Jane, consists of Zane and Jenn Sanders. By day they are campus ministers at Kenyon College. Previously known as Avodah, they have a unique style of indie/folk music.
Carolina Story really has no ties to either of the Carolinas. Ben is originally from Arkansas and Emily is from South Dakota. They met in college in Memphis, Tenn. and vacationed in Carolina, so the state has special memories for them.
Carolina Story is also a folk group. They blend their vocals with guitar, harmonica and their unique suitcase percussion. In one of their more serious songs, they even incorporated a kazoo solo in order to lighten the mood of the piece.
The band writes a lot of their own music, but they also sang other artists’ works. They did a Beatles cover and ended the performance by singing “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash.
Carolina Story does all its own production and management. They encouraged anyone who had dreams of starting a band to go for it because it’s possible. Carolina Story is on tour about three weeks out of each month. They released their newest album, “Home,” recently and within the first day on iTunes, it had made it to #2 on the singer/songwriter album chart. On Jan. 17 they also posted their first music video for the song “The Morning Bird.” It was shot using only their iPhone.
Carolina Story was well-liked at the Kawfee Haus. Sophomore Bible and theology major Avery Linn said she really enjoyed the performance. She said her favorite song was “The Apple,” Carolina Story’s retelling of the Adam and Eve story. Linn only gets to about half of the Kawfee Haus events which SAC puts on but she has enjoyed them.
“Before coming to Malone, I didn’t really listen to a lot of folk music,” Linn said. “I got into it listening to the Vespers when they came.”
Linn definitely sees a difference between listening to groups sing in chapel and going to the Kawfee Haus.
“In chapel they don’t get to be themselves,” she said.
Groups are pressed for time in chapel, but the Kawfee Haus offers a relaxed atmosphere for them to take the time to share their story.
“And, of course,” Linn said, “you get to hear more music.”
Kaitlyn Stump is a staff writer for The Aviso AVW