Folk singer Ginger Bones performs at the Cabin

Twin Cities folk singer reveals unlikely musical journey


Photo by Gabriel Lagarde

Ginger Bones (center) with violinist Renata Solum and pianist/singer Carlisle Evans Peck.

Ginger Bones’ dry sense of humor sprinkled her performance at The Cabin Oct. 30, allowing the audience to feel less like an audience and more like a group of close friends privy to an inside joke.

That, she said, is what she hopes to achieve with her music.

Greeting a crowd of about forty, Abby LeGare, whose stage name is Ginger Bones, began the show at the piano, she and her band belting out a heartfelt song they wrote.

“I wrote my song, ‘The Awakening,’ after I read a love poem by the Sufi poet, Rumi,” she said. “So, of course, I had to write a song about it.”

The singer acted embarrassed, as if writing a love song was childish and inappropriate for a woman of her age.

“The most important thing about music is when you as the listener take it back to yourself and you reflect on yourself,” LeGare said. “I just love lyrics, that’s what I listen to. And I know not everybody does, but I think that’s an incredible way to connect with somebody and to connect with yourself ultimately.”

LeGare said on her website she hopes her art and live performances bring people together — an artistic philosophy that more closely parallels the social-minded acts of the ‘60s and ‘70s she admires more than modern pop culture’s superstars.

Wearing her rugged outfits while she strums on her acoustic guitar and sings in a plaintive, folk style, the singer is light-years closer to Bob Dylan than Taylor Swift.

In the descriptive, melancholic lyrics of her songs, there isn’t room for the catchier hooks of the Billboard Top 50. Her message is clear, raw and brutally honest.

It’s been a wild journey during the last two years, LeGare said. She played a little drums and guitar during her middle school years, but otherwise had virtually no musical experience when she enrolled at UW-Eau Claire in fall 2012.

LeGare spent a year at the university before she felt dissatisfied with her path in life. She said returning home to Minneapolis that summer was the best decision of her life.

“I got home and rediscovered myself and what I’m going to live for, what I’m going to represent,” she said. “Following my passion even if it means that I’m going to be a starving artist for a while. That sounds actually pretty good to me.”

In the months since, LeGare has traveled throughout the Midwest, performing in venues from concerts to coffee shops, alone and with artists she’s met in the Twin Cities’ music community. Two of these friends are Renata Solum and Carlisle Evans Peck, musicians who performed alongside here at The Cabin.

LeGare was quick to point out it’s not her personal experience that is most important, but the humanitarian focus of her music and her hope that not only the artist, but the audience can also take something with them after every performance.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about me standing up there singing,” she said. “It’s got to be bigger than that.”