What do geology, the Internet and science have in common? Neo-folk musicians Mary Hartman, Janet Humphrey and Michelle Cameron.
This trio of music mavens calls themselves, simply, Humphrey, Hartman and Cameron, and they’ll perform at the Emerald of Siam on Nov. 29 and again Dec. 12 for the Three Rivers Folklife Society’s holiday Coffeehouse concert in Richland.
“Neo-folk is acoustic music in the folk family, which has evolved since the days of Blowin’ in the Wind,” Hartman told the Herald. “Janet and I write a lot of the songs we perform, but we also do covers by Sting, Pearl Jam and Dolly Parton.”
Humphrey is an Internet forum moderator when she isn’t playing music, and Hartman is a hydrogeologist at Hanford. Cameron is spectroscopist, which is the study of the interaction between matter and radiated energy.
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Guitarists/songwriters Humphrey and Hartman started out playing together in the 1990s. Then in 2004, Cameron came on board with her cello.
“Michelle just fit together musically with us and as friends,” Hartman said. “We all have rather broad taste in music from traditional folk to blues and rock to country and classical. We try to bring bits of all those into our music.”
All three live in Richland, and during the last couple of years, busy lifestyles with work and family have limited their concert gigs.
“We all really missed the music, so we are making it a priority to play more,” Hartman said. “Playing together for so long has kept the music fresh because we frequently challenge ourselves to learn new songs or rearrange old ones.”
The trio has an eclectic mix of songwriting style as well, writing songs that cover topics from love and mercy to goose poop, she said.
And, Cameron’s cello often provides a third voice to Hartman’s and Humphrey’s alto tones, she added. “As the only lead instrumentalist, Michelle often does double duty finding unique ways to sound like bagpipes or jazz sax,” Hartman said.
The Emerald gig is from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 29. The nightclub is at 1314 Jadwin Ave., in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland. There is no cover.
The Coffeehouse gig starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1312 Kimball Ave., Richland. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for teens and seniors at the door.