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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Shivering Timbers bring hybrid sounds to Civic

11/1/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Shivering Timbers, made up of husband-and-wife duo Sarah and Jayson Benn, will perform at the Akron Civic Theatre Nov. 10.
Photo courtesy of Shivering Timbers
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Sarah Benn doesn’t want to talk about what musicians influence her.

The vocalist and stand-up bassist, who is one-half of Shivering Timbers with her husband, Jayson Benn, describes the band as folk rock with hints of gospel, blues, punk and nursery rhymes. But she stops short of mentioning specific influences to compare their sound to.

“I always steer away from that because it depends on the day,” Benn said in a phone interview. “Today I’m listening to Joni Mitchell but tomorrow I might be listening to Rancid or the Dropkick Murphys. That’s what makes us be able to work together so well because we understand these other types of music that we both like. I like it all, he likes it all and it all influences us.”

The Akron-based duo will perform as a quartet for its first-ever show at the Akron Civic Theatre Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. Drummers Brad Thorla and David Marchione, who usually alternate accompanying them, will play drums and keyboards at the show that also will feature Roger Hoover and the Hurt on the Civic stage for an intimate cabaret-style performance. Akron visual artist Todd V. also will be on hand with an exhibit of work from his iPhone.

Both Benns are veterans of local bands, but their current project started more than two years ago as they created music to children’s rhymes to entertain their daughter, Suzi, who’s about to turn 5.

“A lot of the nursery rhyme stuff is still with us,” Benn said. “A lot of them are nonsense, so they can mean what you want them to mean.”

After playing a set at a birthday party for The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, he offered to record the duo at his Akron studio, and the result was their first album, We All Started in the Same Place, released in 2010.

This fall, the band released Sing Sing, which features a title track that has been played on local radio station The Summit.

At the end of October, the Benns hit the road with their daughter in tow for a Midwest tour supporting Shovels & Rope, a Charleston, S.C.,-based duo that also features a married couple.

“They are an up-and-coming band that just released their first full-length album,” Benn said. “They will keep Suzi while we perform. She’s actually convinced she will be playing with us. We’re bringing the toy piano, and I said we’ll see how that works out.

She added that the tour is significant because it will expose the band to a broader audience in the Midwest. They’ll return home right before their show at the Civic, which is their only local gig planned for some time, Benn said.

“We’re playing less and less locally,” she said. “We’re looking at booking spring tours now, and we’ll be touring a lot.”

Benn heads up the business end of the band, while her husband supports the family as a drafter. They previously lived in Highland Square but now own a house in Goodyear Heights. They have no plans to leave Akron, but the two would like to eventually make a living from their love of music, she said.

“I’m done with the playing shows in crappy bars stage,” Benn said. “We have a lot of good contacts we’ve made and people we’ve met. Everything we’ve done has led to something else. We’re hoping that will be the outcome from the Civic show and that it will be an introduction for us to Greater Akron. A lot of people know us, but a lot of people don’t.”

Tickets for the Civic show are $15 and available at www.akroncivic.com, at the Civic Box Office or by calling 330-253-2488. For more information on the band, go to www.ShiveringTimbersMusic.com.

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