Spiritual meets Mayhem at Club Kuss

Rani Arbo and band bringing ‘American Spiritual.’

Sometimes it takes a song or two to get us through the hard times, said singer-musician Rani Arbo.

“People will come see our show and say, ‘I had a tough day today, but I feel better.’ That feels great to hear as a musician,” she said.

No matter what type of day you’ve had by 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem hope the local audience leaves more uplifted than they came in.

The band’s show, “American Spiritual,” will be at the Clark State Performing Arts Center that day as part of Clark State’s Club Kuss series. The concert is appropriate for all audiences.

Combining songs from a variety of genres — blues, gospel, prison work songs and even a couple of traditional hymns including “I’ll Fly Away” and “Oil in My Vessell” — Arbo says that “American Spiritual” is to uplift, not preach.

“Music is a spiritual pursuit for all of us in the band,” Arbo said. “These are the songs that got us through, joyful songs.”

In the 16 years the band has been together they’ve shared important life events — relationships and babies to the challenges such as Arbo’s bout with breast cancer.

Turning to music meant they could share their experiences with each other and eventually audiences.

Other band members are Andrew Kinsey, Anand Nayak and Scott Kessel.

Arbo describes Daisy Mayhem’s sound as roots music, with a mix of folk and story songs including the four-part harmonies of bluegrass.

Lighthearted storytelling adds a dimension to not just inform how the band found the songs but to how it played out in their lives.

“It’s a pretty diverse show, but with something for everybody,” Arbo said.

Instrumentation is diverse, as well, with bass, fiddle, electric and acoustic guitars, ukulele, banjo and something a little different: a recycled drum set.

It isn’t something the band hauled out of a Dumpster but includes a cardboard box, suitcase and other items to give it a sound unlike many will be used to.

Arbo said about half of the songs in the American Spiritual set are the band’s original music, with the rest including covers and music in the public domain. It’s about a shared experience.

“People are people, and this is universal music,” Arbo said. “What we bring is a reverence for humanity.”

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Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.