A night in The Cabin

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Story by Tyler Hart

When she arrived in Minneapolis in 2006 at age 18, Caroline Smith joined the ranks of other Midwest indie artists the likes of Elliot Smith, Conor Oberst and Mason Jennings at 400 Bar.

After performing for a year as a solo artist, Smith met drummer Arlen Peiffer from the band Cloud Cult, bassist Jesse Schuster and pianist David Earl, who came together to form her band, the Good Night Sleeps.

Smith plays guitar and banjo, but her unique voice is the axle around which the rest of the music turns.

Critics describe her wavering vibrato as peaceful and powerful and say it fits well with the band’s acoustic-folk instrumentation.

Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps are playing three free shows at The Cabin on Friday and Saturday.

According to their website, the band was part of seven national tours and frequently tours around the Midwest.

Smith and the band have released two full-length albums since they got together in 2007. Their most recent album, titled “Little Wind” was released in September of 2011 and was met with favorable reviews.

Sophomore Kate Beaton had only good things to say about Smith’s previous performances.

“Her live concert (at The Cabin) completely blew me away,” Beaton said. “Her performance was way beyond what I had expected.”

Cabin Committee co-chair Lauren Bryant said she saw them play a show in 2010, and noticed the large crowd of fans.

“They have a huge following in Eau Claire,” Bryant said. “I saw them at the House of Rock last semester and there was a huge crowd.”

Bryant is a part of the selection committee for The Cabin’s featured artists. Three different featured artists are chosen each semester, and they fall into three categories: male solo, female solo, and band.

Smith won the voting process this semester for female solo. Senior Alex Adkinson said he saw the band perform last year, and really enjoyed it.

“I’d definitely consider going to one of her shows again.”