Friday, October 16
A healthy dose of big-hearted comedy is coming to East Lansing on Friday. The Ten Pound Fiddle is bringing in singer-songwriters Christine Lavin and Don White to share their unique blend of humor and folk music with fans looking to forget life's difficulties for an evening.
“People are fatigued, they have troubles, but when we get our hands on them, they’re rolling their heads back in laughter,” said White.
The duo has been performing together since 2008, but both White and Lavin have worked as solo artists since the ‘80s.
New York-based Lavin is known for her sense of humor, writing songs that toe the line between thought-provoking and laughterevoking. Similarly, White emerged from Boston with songs that are funny and relatable but often profound.
Both artists draw heavily on everyday experiences for inspiration. “The Password Song” is Lavin’s lament about maintaining a multitude of user names and passwords in the age of the Internet. White often sings about his experiences as a father and husband like in “My Wife Hates Baseball.”
“Guys love (White) and drag their wives along,” said Lavin. “Then the women love me, and they drag their husbands along.”
“Between the two of us, we cover everybody,” White added.
For duo shows, White starts off with some songs and jokes, and then Lavin performs. After that, the two come together for some “musical mischief.”
Some have described their show as a mixture of singing and standup comedy, but White thinks their style is a little kinder the typical bar routine.
“The comedy has this big heart,” he said. “It's not mean-spirited.”
Not all of their work is goofy. Both have taken a stab at more thoughtful and contemplative fare. One of Lavin's recent tunes, “First Dance, Last Dance,” is a moving tribute to David Ippolito, better known as the Guitar Man, who became famous playing free Saturday shows in Central Park.
To accompany the song, Lavin put together a series of video clips showing fans of the Guitar Man enjoying his outdoor concerts. Documenting life is a big part of how the two write their music.
“I walk through life with my eyes open,” said White. “I have a comedian's view of the world, which means you see everything a little askew.”
Viewers can expect more than music and laughs on Friday. About an hour before the show, Lavin hosts a knitting circle, a tradition many fans look forward to.
“I’m always knitting myself before shows and I thought, ‘Oh, I should let people know and maybe they’ll bring projects of their own,’” she said.
The knitting circles have since become a way for Lavin to connect with listeners.
“It’s really fun. I give prizes for the most largest and most complicated pieces,” she said. “We all just show off our work.”
Christine Lavin and Don White at the Ten Pound Fiddle
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 $18/$15 members/$5 students MSU Community Music School 4930 S. Hagadorn Road, East Lansing (517) 337-7744, tenpoundfiddle.org