Listen up — Bill and Kate Isles will appear at Chatfield Center for the Arts on Saturday, in what may well be their last show of the month.
The Duluth-based singer/songwriter duo has a few outdoor shows scheduled for October, but anticipate that weather may call them off.
“Everybody’s the same case,” Bill Isles said. But an indoor show in “one of our favorite venues” isn’t a bad way to wrap up the season, he added.
Expect a mix of solo and duet songs, as well as good, old-fashioned storytelling tunes. “Hobos in the Roundhouse,” a fan favorite, will certainly make an appearance.
“Everyone will be real comfortable, they’ll know most of our songs, and then we do add some cover tunes like ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ that people can connect to,” Kate Isles said.
Kate, originally from Rochester, met Bill at the release concert for his first CD, “Weightless.” Their song “Public Radio (A True Story)” tells the story in full.
As audience interactions go, that’s a tough one to beat — but the Isles are always looking to connect with their listeners, even if those connections are signified in a more watery fashion.
“I know it sounds strange, but one of my favorite (reactions) is tears,” Kate said. “Sometimes you just hit a chord and it brings someone to a place that may be difficult or sad, but you also feel that you’re all together during the song and relating to something personal. That person that does have the tears, even though it’s difficult, it’s a release, and we’re all sharing it together.”
Plus, Bill is there to bring the mood back up. “While she’s striking a chord, I’m hitting a nerve,” he said. “We’ll probably know a number of the people there; we can play off of that.”
“We’ve built a little community,” Kate said. “Especially if you’ve spent the week alone or if you’ve been living a solitary life … some people have watched every single (one)."
Those who do listen will have heard previously unshared pieces, like a 1998 poem Bill wrote that became two other songs.
“We’ve told some stories, people have sent us things,” Bill said. Their global audience (like a woman from Costa Rica) has a chance to interact with their home listeners as well.
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As the duo has only performed outdoors and streamed concerts over the summer, Bill said there is “a bit of a mental block” going into the Chatfield concert. However, Chatfield Center for the Arts’ safety precautions and wide spacing reassured them.
“Some won’t come for that reason, being in that kind of space, but they’re doing everything in the way that they should,” Kate said. “We’re comfortable.”
If you go
What: Bill and Kate Isles
When: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10
Where: Chatfield Center for the Arts, 405 Main St. S.
Cost: $20; chatfieldarts.org