By Schyler Martin for the SNAP
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 —
Ironic Distance, a local band that’s looking to show audiences something different, will play at Market Station in Albemarle at 8 p.m. Thursday as part of the Thursdays at the Station concert series.
Ironic Distance was formed nearly five years ago when friends Mark Cook, Reed Furr and Steve Teeter were introduced to Katie Springer, a local fiddler. Though Springer was only 16 at the time, her talent was obvious and the band formed a quick natural chemistry. Cook, Furr and Springer will play Thursday. Tim Harris will fill in for Steve Teeter.
The group’s music is eclectic, but almost always acoustic. Furr said they play “folk, country, gypsy jazz, Texas swing, pop, some bluegrass and even a little rock.” The band performs covers, as well as original songs written by Cook and Furr.
“I don’t know if there’s any possibility that we’ll be the best, but I’d like to think we’ll be the most interesting,” Cook said.
When interviewed, the band members seemed to fit perfectly together. Cook, 64, is talkative and full of adventurous ideas for new music. Furr, also 64, is reserved and organized. Springer, 21, is quiet and charmingly humble. Other band members describe her as “the one with the talent.”
Springer’s skill with a fiddle has gained her widespread attention. She has played for Sweet Potato Pie, a professionally touring band, and recently received a full scholarship to study music business at Bethel University in Tennessee.
“According to my mama, when I was 3 I started saying that I was going to be a fiddler. It was something she thought I’d grow out of, but I didn’t, so she bought me a fiddle when I turned 6,” Springer said.
Cook, who plays guitar, banjo, dobro and sings, also toured musically in his younger years, though he’s known for more than his musical talent. The Uwharrie Players will soon perform his original play, “The Codgerella,” which explores the questions of aging and living life to the fullest.
Cook said his background in English was his inspiration for the band’s unique and seemingly random name.
“When you say something and you’re being ironic, you keep a healthy distance from the truth,” Cook said.
Furr seems to be the glue that holds Ironic Distance together. As well playing guitar and banjo, he creates setlists, arranges practice times and keeps the group organized.
“My favorite part of doing music is when we do a song where our harmonies are really tight and really blend well,” Furr said.
Cook and Furr both graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cook worked for 26 years as an English teacher at West Stanly High School. Teeter taught science at West. Furr was a school principal.
When the group performs Thursday at Market Station, they hope to entertain the audience and have a good time playing music.
“We know that we’re doing it for fun,” Cook said.
“But we do take it very seriously.”
Schyler Martin is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.