A funny thing happens when Caley Conway steps out into the world to learn organic farming: she ends up on a path that winds back, and more deeply so, into music. It’s little wonder that the songwriter's infectious sound has combined ukulele, Hindustani scale elements, and the rural ramblings of acoustic slide guitar. Her first serious bandmates were also her island-dwelling, sustainable farming mentors. After three years of traveling abroad from farm to farm, (and eventually to India, following a band of Sufis on a musical pilgrimage), Conway longed to re-immerse in old friendships, collaborations, and a nurturing scene for original music.
Today, in a gesture of self-sufficiency within a vastly male-dominated industry, Conway arranges, performs, and releases her music under her own name and calls on a more fluid cast of players to fit the needs of the music. She endeavors to be her own lead guitarist- a move that has guided the compositions to more experimental places in recent years. One thing hasn't changed: Conway's reputation for storytelling in an honest, and at times jarring, lyrical style. Critics note her performances as having "poise," "quiet ease," and an "extroardinarily light touch." Her lyrics are at once humorous and sorrowful, being called "sharply detailed," and "eloquent in describing the mundane."
The Milwaukee native now has two EP's, one LP, a B-side and Holiday collection to her name. No Depression Magazine credited her work as "becoming the next big thing in folk music." Her 2016 full-length, Silk For Life, was hailed "an ambitious piece that puts Conway on the map for 2017," by Paste Magazine. Caley and her trio will tour the midwest later this spring, in support of their forthcoming EP. https://www.caleyconway.com/
A transplant to Minneapolis from Denver, where after finishing a degree in music studying Clarinet, Fonfara got his start in DeVotchKa, then moved on to record and tour internationally with 16 Horsepower/Woven Hand and with Jim White on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label. When Fonfara settled in Minneapolis 9 years ago, his well-honed and exploratory talents were immediately recognized as he became a member of local favorites Spaghetti Western String Co., balancing the precision and delicacy of that band with the raucous playfulness of the Brass Messengers, and silent movie film scores of Dreamland Faces.
Throughout all of his time working with other bands and collaborators, Painted Saints has remained Fonfara’s outlet for his own songwriting. A talented painter, his songs become sprawling sonic landscapes of visually imagistic lyrics, often as melancholic and forceful as they are shimmering and lovely. www.paintedsaints.net