Songwriters Marcy Brenner & Lou Castro from Ocracoke Island, NC have an engaging and spontaneous presence, bringing audiences "into their living room" with enchanting, intimate songs and colorful music tinged with folk, rock, blues & jazz flavors.
COYOTE are featured in Nicholas Sparks' "Nights In Rodanthe" starring Richard Gere and included on the soundtrack with Emmylou Harris, Dinah Washington, Count Bassie...
Members of internationally known Molasses Creek band (molassescreek.com) and principal performers at Deepwater Theater & Music Hall's (deepwatertheater.com) Ocrafolk Opry.
Listed in the NCAC Touring Artist Roster, they perform all over the state and beyond.
Marcy and Lou (Berklee grad) are active music educators, directing children's music activities, youth band workshops and residencies.
Marcy's cancer survival is the subject of "Dead Girl Walking," (deadgirlwalking.net) a docu film by Ray Schmitt (realearthproductions.com). Coyote's music provides the soundtrack.
Look for COYOTE in the new Nicholas Sparks movie "Nights In Rodanthe" -- we in the pier party scene!
Bring us to YOUR TOWN and host a HOUSE CONCERT! Visit us & more info at www.concertsinyourhom.com
Visit www.deadgirlwalking.net for docu film about Marcy's cancer survival.
Molasses Creek - March Northeast Tour, 2010 Schedule www.molassescreek.com.
COYOTE Group Description
Another Year Blooms is the latest CD release from COYOTE, songwriters Marcy Brenner & Lou Castro from Ocracoke Island, NC. This married couple have an engaging and spontaneous presence, bringing listeners and audiences "into their living room" with enchanting, intimate songs and colorful music tinged with folk, rock, blues & jazz flavors.
"Another Year Blooms (is) delightfully unpredictable, and worthy of repeated listening."
COYOTE are featured musicians in the Nicholas Sparks movie "Nights In Rodanthe" starring Richard Gere and on the soundtrack along with Emmylou Harris, Dinah Washington, Count Bassie and The Dillards.
At the hometown Deepwater Theater they perform a weekly show with the internationally known Molasses Creek band (www.molassescreek.com) and are principal performers in the Ocrafolk Opry .
COYOTE are listed in the NC Arts Council Touring Artist Roster and perform all over the state and beyond.
Marcy and Lou, a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, are active music educators, directing children's music, after-school music activities, youth band workshops and school residencies.
COYOTE have also released "Home To Me" and "Live from the Outer Banks" to glowing reviews for both their performances and their songs.
"(Home To Me is) a song of joy in response to a range of trials and triumphs."
"The real draw of the band is the tenderness that Marcy and Lou evince on stage, both for the music they're playing and for each other."
Marcy's cancer survival is the subject of "Dead Girl Walking," a documentary film by Ray Schmitt of Real Earth Productions, the title of which is one of Coyote's original songs which comprise the soundtrack. (see www.deadgirlwalking.net)
COYOTE CONCERT REVIEW
Currituck Heritage Park
Summer Concert Series
The acoustic musical duo from Ocracoke known as Coyote performed a set on the porch of the Whalehead Club Thursday evening.
The lowering sun hung above puffy clouds over the Currituck Sound on which some kayakers glided as crickets chirped. Its rays spread a pinkish glow on the pale yellow club building as the oblique shadows turned blue.
The stately building sat atop a green field where people gathered carrying blankets and folding chairs. Some walked over from the parking lot, and some were conveyed by golf carts that were shuttling back and forth.
A fine breeze came off the still pool between the club and the sound, carrying a few tame mosquitos past the gathering.
On the porch Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro adjusted and tuned the tools of their craft. The various wood hues of their collected guitars, mandolins, basses and the like nicely complemented the deep red and off-white trim of the spotless club.
The pair was then introduced by Edna Baden, the Executive Director of the club, as part of its Summer Concert Series; this evening was sponsored by landscapers Corolla Companies, LLC.
Coyote plays a combination of their own compositions, mixed with compositions from other acoustic types (Gillian Welch, Joni Mitchell). They are not above pleasing disparate listeners with their own arrangements from writers and groups who rarely made music without gigantic amplifyers, such as Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin.
For tonight's easygoing set they focused on their own and others' songs more suited to the drawing room ... or front porch.
Their first was "Maestro" -- "He's a grinning coyote." Brenner strummed a two-four beat on her mandolin as she sang, and a few leads to Castro's guitar. "Maestro" had a loping, moderato tempo and Brenner's voice was clear and sure.
Elvis Costello's lovely "Scarlet Tide," from the Cold Mountain soundtrack, sounded an authentic note, with a dobro accompaniment and a nice harmony vocal from Castro.
"Lighthouse," from a couple of "Ozzie girls," was just as right in the northern hemisphere, in sight of the great brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse across the road.
There were a few new songs written this winter, including "Beautiful Sorrow of Love." Brenner on acoustic-electric guitar and Castro on electric fretless bass produced a full, melancholy sound ... Castro played some leads and a solo on his bass.
Joni Mitchell's great "Big Yellow Taxi" received a fond reading, followed by a song created as a result of a Disciples' Class at the Duck United Methodist Church: "Follow Me" took its inspiration from the Bible.
Weighty matters of life and death were assayed in Brenner's song written from her perspective as a cancer survivor. "Dead Girl Walking" belied its gloomy title; it was a jaunty celebration of life.
A lighter take on disasters was "Hurricane Flood Tornado," inspired by a similar sequence of events surrounding the advent of Hurricane Isabel on Ocracoke. Brenner strapped on a combination banjo/mandolin called, yes, a banjolin. The song was anchored by a bluesy banjolin riff played in unison with Castro's dobro.
Hank William's famous "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" was given a sympathetic reading, Castro providing a beautiful backup on the lap steel guitar and warming himself up to the next number, Bob Wills' "Panhandle Rag."
Castro did a fine impression of the whole Texas Playboys band on that one.
As the light waned, Brenner said, "Think we have time for one more? We could play for you until tomorrow...."
They finished up with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' "Acony Bell," on two acoustic guitars, a pretty song that mingled the spirit of the Carters' "Wildwood Flower" with the sound of a Doc and Merle Watson duet from back in the day.
And, thanks in part to bands like Coyote, that day will live on.
ANOTHER YEAR BLOOMS review
I don?t know how other people would go about preparing to write a CD review, but what I do is listen to the CD over and over, and then over and over again, and then...well, you get the idea. If I actually reviewed CDs for a living, and therefore had to listen to some bad ones, this strategy would probably cause insanity (my own, and that of the people in my immediate surroundings who have to listen along with me). Instead of being driven mad, however, I have been extraordinarily blessed by repeated listening to all of the CDs I have reviewed so far. That was (and still is) especially true of Another Year Blooms, the new release by Coyote, the singer/songwriter team of Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro, who have been playing together since 2001 and were married in 2003. The CD showcases Marcy and Lou?s remarkable range of talent for the entire musical process ? from composition and songwriting to playing multiple instruments, singing music of varied styles, and even to recording (Lou engineered the CD).
Ten of the twelve tracks on Another Year Blooms are original songs by Coyote, whose songwriting is highly respected by other musicians (all of the original songs on their last release, Home to Me, reached the Top 10 in broadjam.com peer reviews). As Another Year Blooms shows, Marcy and Lou find inspiration for their songwriting from all aspects of their lives. The hauntingly lovely title track is about and for Marcy?s mother, who loved daffodils. My personal favorite tune, ?Richest Man in the World?, Coyote?s ?love song to Ocracoke Island?, was inspired by a statement a friend made, and the next track ?Five Minutes? came from what Lou said to Marcy while they were falling in love. ?Fizzy Blue Water? has a highly unique source of inspiration, a modeling photograph from the 1940s, and also boasts one example of the lovely poetry of Coyote lyrics, the phrase ?even then a bottle could be a haunting shade of blue?.
What makes this CD wonderful is not, however, limited to the lyrics. It also includes an excellent instrumental piece (?Summer Sleeping Porch?) which shows off Coyote?s talents on the dobro and guitar. Several of the tracks include their well-blended harmonies, and all of them offer examples of their wide range of skills on various instruments, including several types of guitars, mandolin, banjolin, piano and lap steel.
Coyote is not limited to one style, evidenced by the wide variety of the songs on this CD, from the ballad-like ?Making Peace Tonight?, to the rocking ?I?m All Right? to the zydeco ?Down the Driveway Home?. Instead, Marcy and Lou bring their own style to every track. This makes Another Year Blooms delightfully unpredictable, and worthy of repeated listening. I especially like the cynical, jaded ?Everyone Starts Out in Love?, which is far from your average overdone sweet love song; its sudden ending is a perfect fit with the lyrics that say ?this could all end before it?s begun, but I?ll worry about our future tomorrow?. Even the covers (?The Storms are on the Ocean? by the Carter Family, and ?At Last?, made famous by Etta James) demonstrate Coyote?s style, as they perform them in a way that is uniquely their own, while not straying far from the original feel of the songs.
Another Year Blooms will be available June 1st in island shops, and online from soundsiderecords.com, amazon.com, and efolkmusic.org. Get a copy and listen to it - multiple times! (Try it at least once wearing headphones, as the left/right stereo effect adds to the experience.) If you want to hear more of Coyote, take in one of their performances on the island (see schedule below), and look for them in the movie Nights in Rodanthe, filming now on the Outer Banks and due for release in 2008.
HOME TO ME review by Sentinel
Coyote's 'Home to Me' sounds good to me
The latest compact disc from the Ocracoke-based acoustic duo Coyote opens with the feel of a French -- or Belgian -- coffeehouse. A bow is bounced a few times on a violin, joined by a quiet bass and a few chords on an accordian in the moderato "Maestro."
The cumulative effect is a rich listening experience, a tale of a private muse who has done his job well.
On Home to Me the focus is on songwriting and ensemble arrangements. Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro penned most of the compositions; the arrangements take advantage of guest musicians Nemesia Castro, accordian; Emily DeVan, cello; Martin Garrish, acoustic guitar; Dan Martier, drums and percussion; Kevin Hardy, upright bass; Kitty and Gary Mitchell, vocals; and Fiddler David Tweedie, violin.
The Mitchells and Fiddler Dave are with the popular Ocracoke bluegrass band Molasses Creek.
While the pool of talent for this record is deep, the arrangements are spare and tasteful. Not all guests play all the time; on the second cut, "Home to Me," Brenner and Castro are deceptively joined only by Dan Martier.
The change from a girl and her mandolin to a rock band has happened organically, and the three-person, six-piece band rocks into a fade-out.
One of the few covers on this record is the sublime "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," from the great Hank Williams. Martin Garrish opens with a clean 3/4 time acoustic guitar figure, joined by Brenner's mandolin and voice. Soon in the background can be heard Castro on lap steel guitar and quiet bass. Castro's stately lap-steel solo on this primal country song is an authentic-sounding joy.
"Scorpio" has a saucy vocal a la Maria Muldaur, accompanied by an eccentric combination of Brenner's acoustic guitar and Castro's dobro and bass, in an allegorical -- or literal -- song about a past life.
"Follow Me" is credited to the "Duck United Methodist Church Disciple I Class of 2003 & Brenner/Castro." (For non-locals, Duck is the town on the Outer Banks, not the bird or the verb.)
"Follow Me" is a flat statement of faith in Christ, the "Great Shepherd." With a dignified backing and a lovely melody, the song will resonate not only with those who already "know His voice" (John 10:3-4).
Molasses Creek's Mitchells add their vocals to the choir on this beautiful number.
The Rock critic Richard Meltzer had a term for a pair of songs that complement each other -- "turkey tongue" (well, it was the sixties). The upbeat, syncopated "Hurricane, Flood, Tornado," completes the turkey tongue of "Follow Me."
Coyote loves music, and they love the tools they use.
"Penny For Your Thoughts" is a case in point. Composed by English rocker Peter Frampton, it's a little acoustic guitar/dobro instrumental making good use of harmonics and the sparkling interplay of perfectly tuned steel strings. You can hear rain softly falling outside.
Again, "Penny" leads nicely into a quiet acoustic arrangement of Greg Allman's "Come and Go Blues," originally recorded by the Allman Brothers as a full electric blues in the early seventies. Later Greg Allman released a live solo version, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, and Coyote's version threads the needle between the two.
The penultimate song is the beautiful "Beautiful Sorrow of Love," which Brenner and Castro multitracked with Dan Martier's help on drums. It uses a fine climbing chord progression and great electric lead guitar work from Castro, and leads into a bare mandolin/guitar reprise of "Home to Me."
This is the arrangement the pair use in live performance; as they've demonstrated, everything can sound good in the right four hands. Here is a CD that should be heard by anyone interested in native Outer Banks music; one that asserts that the Banks' musicians can easily hold their own.
Note Coyote; their future should suggest they put on their shades.
ANOTHER YEAR BLOOMS press rel
* * * F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E * * *
Announcing the release of COYOTE?s ?Another Year Blooms?
This jazzy new CD entitled ?Another Year Blooms? is the latest from Ocracoke?s own COYOTE, hometown songwriters Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro.
This married couple have an engaging and spontaneous presence, bringing listeners and audiences ?into their living room? with enchanting, intimate songs and a pleasing variety of acoustic instruments, all tinged with folk, rock, blues and jazz flavors.
?Another Year Blooms (is) delightfully unpredictable, and worthy of repeated listening.?
Kati Wharton, Ocracoke Observer, June 2007
COYOTE has also released ?Home To Me? (the first publication of their songs) and ?Live from the Outer Banks? (a collection from their first year onstage) to glowing reviews for both their performances and their songs, which all have reached the top 10 in peer reviews.
?(Home To Me is) a song of joy in response to a range of trials and triumphs.?
Charles Temple, Ocracoke Observer, June 2005
?The real draw of the band, though, is the tenderness that Marcy and Lou evince on stage, both for the music they?re playing and for each other.?
Charles Temple, review of ?Live from the Outer Banks?, Ocracoke Observer, July 2003
During the summer season COYOTE perform at the Deepwater Theater in their own show with singer/songwriter Noah Paley entitled ?Songs & The Stories Behind the Music? and appear regularly in the Ocrafolk Opry. They perform annually at the Ocrafolk Music & Storytelling Festival the first full weekend of June. They have appeared at the Core Sound Decoy Festival, Beaufort Seafood Festival, Pittsburgh?s Folk Music Society Calliope Series, Frisco Jubilee, Manteo?s Carolista Festival and more. They appear on many coastal NC musical projects and hope to feature as musicians in a scene in Nicholas Sparks? new movie entitled ?Nights In Rodanthe" due out in June 2008.
?Another Year Blooms? is independently recorded, produced and published by COYOTE® (MRB Publishing LLC). Their music is available at The Music Store at mp6 in Kitty Hawk, many Ocracoke Island shops, www.soundsiderecords.com and www.amazon.com. Digital downloads of songs and albums are available at www.efolkmusic.org. Soon, COYOTE?s music will be available on iTunes.
For more information visit www.coyotemusic.net
HOME TO ME review
The first thing you?ll notice about Coyote?s new album, ?Home to Me,? is the sheer variety of musical styles and influences that the band embraces. It starts with the Yiddish-influenced paean to ?Maestro,? full of dark minor chords and the wry humor and humanity that evoke this mentor figure. With the fiddle, mandolin and accordion, you?d swear you can hear the bouzouki tuning up in the back. The next song, the title track, reminds me of Paul Simon?playful, reflective and full of warmth.
These two songs are a pretty good introduction to Coyote for several reasons. They demonstrate the wealth of musical culture that has influenced them. You can also hear the wit and humor and love that suffuse all their music. But most importantly, you get a sense of how much of Coyote?s best music is born directly from personal, human experience. This album is completely aware of itself as a song of joy in response to a range of trials and triumphs.
These most deeply personal and reflective songs are interspersed with covers of various standards and personal favorites of the band. Hank Williams? ?I?m So Lonesome I Could Cry? may have been covered more often than ?Happy Birthday,? but it always seems to be worth recording again. Let me say a word about songs like this. There are songs that embody an experience so personal and universal that each reworking reminds us of the universal while revealing something about the artist. (Think of ?Amazing Grace.?) I think the reason we come back to these songs again and again is that they broaden the scope of our experience while confirming the power of our own encounter with that human universal. From the mournful Hank Williams, to the rueful Allman Brothers, to the exuberant Beatles, Coyote infuses each with the lively wisdom and warmth that characterize them.
That reflection is a good introduction to the other class of songs on the album, songs born out of the fear, hope and joy connected to Marcy Brenner?s fight with breast cancer. What I find most remarkable about this sort of confessional songwriting is the utter honesty, sometimes bleak, sometimes gleeful. Coyote has translated that range of experience into a musical expression of fear, courage and joy.
For those who are new to the band, Coyote is the duo of Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro. On earlier albums, Lou?s guitar work has been prominently figured next to Marcy?s alto vocals and mandolin. On this album, however, what I notice is not the instrumentation so much as the songwriting, though Lou plays with characteristic artistry. What strikes me most is each song?s insistence on being true to its inspiration, to telling honestly and bravely about the love, fear, tragedy or triumph that called it into being.
LIVE FROMTHE OUTER BANKS review
COYOTE?s first CD is a good way to get to know this duo. Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro play a range of songs together that encompasses originals like their band?s namesake and covers of classics like Led Zeppelin?s ?Going To California? and newer songs like The Dave Matthew?s Band?s ?Everyday.? The real draw of the band, though, is the tenderness that Marcy and Lou evince on stage, both for the music they?re playing and for each other.
The cover photos show the two playing and alternately focusing on the music and smiling at each other or leaning in to whisper something soft. The album itself is a bit like that ? COYOTE chose their favorite live recordings from performances along the Outer Banks in the last two years. The venues vary from Manteo?s spacious Festival Park to Ocracoke?s intimate Deepwater Theater.
Marcy sings with a sweet alto voice with a subtly vocalized tone that carries her signature through anything she sings. She plays her mandolin through most of the tracks, occasionally swapping it out for a guitar. Lou is a masterful mimic on the guitar, playing Jimmy Page as easily as David Rawlings. He can play it fast or slow, light or heavy. Vocally, he sings the sort of harmony that seems simple until you try to sing it yourself.
The album ends with a bonus track of (Joni Mitchell?s) ?Coyote,? the band?s namesake song. It goes softly along until the end, when Marcy goes to repeat the first verse just as Lou wraps up the guitar part. The song fades out on Marcy?s perfectly infectious laughter. It is the sound of the joy of goofing up while playing at the search for perfection. It?s the best sort of ending for this album ? it?s real and warm and personal, like the music and the band.
HOME TO ME press release
* * * F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E * * *
COYOTE releases ?Home To Me?
Hometown sweethearts COYOTE, Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro, of Ocracoke Island, NC announce the release of their second CD entitled ?Home To Me.? The collection debuts eight original songs and unique arrangements of material by Hank Williams, Peter Frampton, Greg Allman, Cheap Trick and The Beatles.
?(Home To Me) is a song of joy in response to a range of trials and triumphs. You can hear the wit and humor and love that suffuse all (of COYOTE?s) music. You get a sense of how much of (their) best music is born directly from personal, human experience. Each (song is) infused with the lively wisdom and warmth that characterize COYOTE. (They have) translated a range of experience into a musical expression of fear, courage and joy.? Charles Temple, Ocracoke Observer, May 9, 2005
COYOTE will debut ?Home To Me? during the Ocrafolk Music & Storytelling Festival the first weekend of June 2005. They will appear Saturday, June 4th on the Howard Street Stage from 2:15 ? 3:00 p.m. and host the ?Late Night Jam? at the Deepwater Theater.
COYOTE co-produces and appears in the Outer Banks Opry, Fridays at 8:00 p.m. at the new First Flight High School Auditorium, Kill Devil Hills, from June 24th ? August 12th. They also appear Wednesdays in the Ocrafolk Opry at Deepwater Theater, Ocracoke produced by Molasses Creek.
?Home To Me? is independently recorded, produced and published by COYOTE® and will be available at local record stores, www.soundsiderecords.com and www.amazon.com.
For more information about COYOTE visit their new website at
Cover Photo Credit: Ann Ehringhaus
OUTER BANKS OPRY press release
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The OUTER BANKS OPRY announces its THIRD SEASON with a new day and venue!
The critically-acclaimed OUTER BANKS OPRY season begins
FRIDAYS, June 24th - August 12th at 8:00pm
First Flight High School Auditorium
(Kill Devil Hills off Colington Road by the Wright Brothers Memorial)
?We come back every week and bring all of our summer company with us!?
-- a local resident, 2002
??the BEST $15 dollars I?ve spent all summer!?
-- a happy audience member, 2003
?A show of this professional quality would be at least $65 at home!?
-- New York City resident to her husband, 2004
The OUTER BANKS OPRY is a family-oriented evening of acoustic music, captivating storytelling and foot-tapping fun. Receiving rave reviews from a loyal following of local and visiting fans, the 2005 season of the OUTER BANKS OPRY will once again entertain and delight audiences of all ages, at the new First Flight High School Auditorium in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The shows will run each Friday, June 24th through August 12th. A pre-season matinee performance will run Sunday, June 12th at 2:00pm, with a special ticket price of $5, and kids under 12 will be admitted free! Bring the whole family for a brilliant evening of great live music and fun!
Weekly featured acts are MOLASSES CREEK (award winners from Garrison Keillor?s ?A Prairie Home Companion?) and COYOTE (Marcy and Lou), along with a variety of local and regional guest performers, to present a wonderful evening of family entertainment. A different show every week! Guest performers have included: Martin Garrish, Katy Mitchell, Noah Paley, Bob Zentz, Rodney Kemp, Cheryl Roberts, Anne Haley, Earl Carawan, Roots In The Sand, Ken Hicks, Heart Strings & Ivory, Carson Huggins, and more.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and are available at the door the night of the show. The curtain opens at 8:00pm and the show runs until approximately 10:00pm, with a 15-minute intermission. Season passes are available: 8 shows for $60.
A portion of proceeds is pledged to the purchase of the Yamaha Grand Piano at First Flight High School. Beverages are available from local youth organizations raising funds for their activities.
Info at www.outerbanksopry.com or 252-256-2081 Photo Credits: Ann Ehringhaus, Lin Small
is Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro of Ocracoke and Kitty Hawk. They combine folk, blues and rock influences to create a unique and friendly sound that comes from the heart. They have released ?Coyote Live from the Outer Banks,? a collection of fresh ?covers? from their first season performing together. COYOTE will release ?Home To Me,? a collection of mostly original songs, on June 1st. They appear all over the Outer Banks and surrounding areas including the Ocrafolk Opry, Carolista Festival, Ocrafolk Music & Storytelling Festival, public performances, special events and private celebrations.
?The real draw of the band is the tenderness that Marcy and Lou evince on stage, both for the music they?re playing and for each other.? (Charles Temple, The Ocracoke Observer, July 2003; review of ?Coyote Live from the Outer Banks? their first CD)