Moxie Strings enchant sold-out crowd at The Coffee Pot


By Tammy Watts

GREENVILLE — The Moxie Strings performed a sold-out show at The Coffee Pot in downtown Greenville on Dec. 2, in the second of Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA) 2021-2022 Coffee House Series concerts. The duo delighted the packed house with a mix of original compositions, contemporary covers, and Christmas tunes.

The Moxie Strings are Diana Ladio, who plays five-string violin, and Alison Lynn, on electric cello. The two started their musical careers in fifth-grade orchestra classes, at public schools in their home state of Michigan; one of the reasons they were happy to “give back” by performing for area high school students as part of DCCA’s Arts in Education program over the past week. “There is no limit to what you can do with your instrument,” Ladio reiterated the message that they have been telling the students.

The two illustrated that concept throughout the evening, combining melodious strings with percussion, in the form of a low kick-drum, electric tambourine, and jingle bells, also operated as foot pedals.

Both Ladio and Lynn hold degrees in classical performance, but met entirely by chance when they were teamed as co-counselors at a music camp. “If you’re ever lucky enough to find your musical soulmate, hang on to them,” Ladio said of Lynn. The two have been a band for 15 and a half years, the first five of which they were known as String Cheese. In the years that followed, they played at Celtic and Irish pubs, and Lynn went on to play with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The Moxie Strings’ album, “Breathe,” was a 2019 Billboard Top 10 Classical Crossover Album, and a 2019 Billboard Top 20 Classical Album.

The Moxie Strings began the evening with complex original melodies such as “Featherbone,” and “Day of the Donut,” where Lynn employed a loop pedal to record as she was performing, making it sound as if eight cellos were playing, instead of just one. Later on, they played a medley of more familiar “wedding songs,” which Ladio explained, “In 15 and a half years, we’ve had to learn a lot of songs, and keep in mind, these songs were all played during the wedding ceremony, not the reception,” she laughed, as the duo started with “Stand By Me,” transitioning into “Wouldn’t it Be Nice,” then launching into the theme from “Star Wars” later in the medley. Christmas songs included “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You,” a rousing cover which had even of those who are not fans of the ubiquitous Mariah Carey hit, singing along.

“We’ve done little ‘residencies’ like this all over, and this has been by far the best organized,” Ladio said, giving credit to the DCCA. She added that the intimacy of The Coffee Pot as a venue was the perfect way to end their week in Greenville.

Daily Advocate Reporter Tammy Watts can be reached at [email protected].

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