While we’ve got tons of musicians who can rock cover tunes in South Jersey, we don’t always get the opportunity to hear bands that are performing their original work. That’s not the case for Originaire, a South Jersey-based acoustic folk trio garnering recognition far outside our immediate area. In addition to playing up and down the East Coast, they recently played the 2019 Philadelphia Folk Festival. Here are four things you need to know about Originaire.
1 You may have seen them around. Originaire is a three-piece band made up of Ken Shiles, CiBon Jackson (known mononymously as CiBon), and Valerie Vuolo. If those names sound familiar, they should. While they are the heart and soul of Originaire, all three also perform as solo artists, duos and as guests of other bands throughout the area. So while you may not have seen the talented musicians of Originaire play as a trio, it’s more than likely you’ve seen them somewhere. The takeaway? These are some seriously busy musicians.
2 Their EP “Off the Ship” is available Friday. If you’re looking to add some new music to your selection, buy “Off the Ship” (available to purchase on iTunes). With four songs in total — including “Off the Ship,” “The Clearing,” “Driftwood,” and “The Clearing (Part 2)” — it’s a cohesive EP that touches on themes of addiction and recovery, powerlessness, life lessons and self-discovery. The harmonies are luminous, which brings us to our next point…
3 They can make you cry. With guitar, violin and blended, soulful vocals, Originaire can literally bring you to tears. “I want to make people cry,” says Shiles. “In a therapeutic way.” Mission accomplished. Don’t despair though, because while they touch on some dark themes, there’s a hopefulness and emotive quality to their music that keeps you listening.
4 They’ve got some friends on board. While the band is a trio, they had some guest artists participate on the EP. The album’s title track features Chris Gillin-Schwartz on banjo and Brad Jones on the upright bass. And on Friday, Feb. 28, they’ll be joined by the band Jackson Pines as well as J. Solomon at their EP release show at Philadelphia Folksong Society’s listening room in Philadelphia.