Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Accordion, Ukulele
2008 - Present
Jennie Knaggs and Nick Schillace are Lac La Belle, an acoustic group from Detroit, Michigan. Creating music that is at once both traditional and contemporary, Lac La Belle juxtapose the early decades of recorded rural American music with decaying Rustbelt aesthetic. With accordion, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and resonator guitar, their instrumentation echos another era, but is employed for a music of now.
Schillace is a recognized solo instrumentalist who has contributed to the American Primitive guitar canon with releases Box Canyon(2005) and Landscape and People (2008), and has performed with many other guitar greats including Jack Rose, Bert Jansch, and Glenn Jones. He is also the owner of Orion Music Studio in Lake Orion, Michigan. Knaggs is a Hollerin' champion in both Virginia and Kentucky, and she gracefully combines her traditional and classical vocal techniques in the duo's original works.
Lac La Belle perform and teach workshops nationally and internationally, and released their third album in 2014.
"You can practically hear the bare walls resonating on each cut as Knaggs and Schillace swing into action, heating up the room with vivacity or chilling it back down in backwoods lament...There is indeed a modernistic ring to the affair, but the depth of resonance with the past is blood deep and highly impressive..."
- Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
River of Fundament
2010 - 2014
A film by Matthew Barney
and Johathan Bepler
This radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings is an epic story of regeneration and rebirth, set in three major American cities – Los Angeles, Detroit and New York. A collaboration between visual artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler, the film was conceived as a contemporary opera that combines traditional modes of narrative cinema with filmed elements of performance and sculpture. Featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Elaine Stritch, Ellen Burstyn, Joan La Barbara, and jazz percussionist Milford Graves, this epic, multidimensional experience is a sprawling allegory of death and rebirth within the contemporary American landscape.
Knaggs performs a lead vocal role as the character "Nephthys", and the film features several of her compositions in collaboration with Johnathan Bepler, including "The Hovering of the Khu", and "The Ballad of the Bullfighter".
2007 - Present
Odu is an Afrobeat Orchestra comprised of the city’s best musicians, each of different genres, age, race, and background, representing Detroit’s strength in it’s musical diversity, and always delivers nothing short of a spiritual experience with every performance they give. The group is led by Adeboye Adegbenro on vocals/alto/tenor saxophone, who came to Detroit via Lagos, Nigeria, where he used to sit it with the great band leader Fela Kuti, founder and namesake of Afrobeat.
Vocals, Guitar, Accordion, Ukulele, Percussion
"...With members originally from Ukraine, Holland and Armenia as well as the States, they throw in influences from all those places’ musical styles as well as roaming up and down the years to encompass early jazz, tango and ragtime, not to mention folk and contemporary rock’n'roll. It’s a carny sound they create, the sound of a traveling medicine show rolling into town, but a long way from the sometimes sinister undercurrents of that music, for theirs is warm, welcoming and consistently engaging..." - Americana UK
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard
2004 - 2012
With thoughtful lyrics and melodic songwriting, I,Crime maintains a rock edge reminiscent of late '70's L.A. Punk influences Wire and X, while sweet boy/girl harmonies earn comparisons to the smooth pyschedelica of The Raveonettes. Releases include 2006 EP "Get the Knife", 7 inch single, “Dove Skin Gloves”, and full length LP "Spread Like Water/Block the Sun", released on Woodbridge Records. Recorded by Grammy winning engineer Collin Dupuis, their songs are winding, burning ballads, with fuzzy but fierce guitars, steady rhythms and bittersweet vocals that detail the thin line between love and hate, devotion and indifference.
Ancient Evenings, (Film). Nephthys. Matthew Barney, director. Jonathan Bepler, composer. 2014.
Lac La Belle. Bring On The Light. Double Lot, 2012. LP.
Various. Happening:A Movement in 12 Acts. Split
Rock/noisetrade.com. 2012. LP (Guest vocalist).
Orpheum Bell. The Old Sisters Home. Self released, 2011. LP. (Guest vocalist).
Lac La Belle. Bring On The Light. Self released, 2011. EP.
Odu Afrobeat Orchestra. Revenge Of The One Eyed Hyena. Sagittarius A-Star, Italy. 2011. LP
I,Crime. Spread Like Water / Block The Sun. Woodbridge Records, 2010. LP.
Lac La Belle. Lac La Belle. Self released, 2009. LP.
M.D. Sharbatz. I’m Your Man. Self released, 2009. 7 Inch Single. (Guest vocalist).
I,Crime. Doveskin Gloves. Woodbridge Records, 2009. 7 Inch Single.
Darren Locke. Dream Talking. Self released, 2009. LP. (Guest vocalist).
I, Crime. Get the Knife. Self released, 2005. EP.
The Tease. Demos. Self released, 2003. EP.