Musical life amid complications Singers: Performing together and rehearsing can present some logistical challenges for members of the women's folk trio Hot Soup! The group will sing tomorrow in Annapolis.

December 18, 1997|By Judith Green | Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Sometimes Hot Soup! finds it difficult to rehearse.

With the members of this women's folk trio residing in different communities, going their separate ways as well as performing together, the logistics get complicated.

Last week, for instance, they had a gig in Sykesville. But getting together was a problem, with Sue Trainor on the road in North Carolina and Christina Muir in Massachusetts. Sue Ribaudo, who has a son in school, was at home in Towson.

They had a quick rehearsal that afternoon and used the last-minute run-through for microphones and amplifier levels to make a few musical adjustments.

Tomorrow, they're at the 333 Coffeehouse at the Unitarian Church of Anne Arundel County on Dubois Road in Annapolis.

In the week since they last saw each other, Muir has been a solo act in Laurel, Timonium and Pikesville; Trainor has sung in Bowie; and they've done a duet job in Reading, Pa.

After the holidays, their travels continue.

The trio teaches in Catonsville and performs in Springfield, Mass., and Silver Spring; and Trainor and Muir and Trainor and Ribaudo perform as duos throughout the metropolitan area.

"When you're a musician, you've got to be creative," says Ribaudo, 46, a former teacher.

"Sometimes we tape ourselves and exchange the tapes to practice with," says Trainor, also 46, whose home in Owen Brown village in Columbia is a hive of folk-music activity.

The members of Hot Soup! are singers, instrumentalists and songwriters, and the group, formed two years ago, gives members the chance to perform all roles.

Eight of the 15 songs on their recently released debut compact disc -- "Hot Soup!" -- are by the performers.

The others range from pieces by contemporary colleagues to close harmonies and scat vocals of the Depression-era Boswell Sisters.

Muir, 37, has released a solo CD of the delicate ballads she writes about love and loss and longing, and her serene soprano is often heard singing the lead in Hot Soup! arrangements.

She moved to Annapolis three years ago and got to know Trainor from her work as a publicist for local folk performers.

Ribaudo plays guitar and mandolin and provides percussion from a stock of Irish drums, African talking drums and shakers.

Trainor, whose solo work last year won a Wammie award from the Washington Area Music Association, is active as a composer-performer of music for children, performing at schools, libraries and parties.

L Folk music preoccupies Trainor and her husband, Jim Simpson.

She runs the Folkal Point, a music series in Howard County; he manages the Hot Soup! site on the World Wide Web. Their cars have FOLKIE and FOLKIES vanity tags.

The trio runs workshops at Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe in Catonsville in the winter. In the summer, the three teach and perform for Common Ground, the traditional arts series at Western Maryland College in Westminster.

Ribaudo and Trainor are part of what they call the "folk underground," which brings together old and new folk musicians with aficionados of world, New Age, Celtic and other music genres that showcase the gentle blend of voice and acoustic instruments.

"We play music and promote it a lot," says Trainor. "Sometimes I feel like an infomercial."

For information on Hot Soup! call 410-381-2834 or 301-982-9418; or visit the Web site at http: //pobox.com/hotsoup.

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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