The laid back, dulcet tunes of acoustic duo Hops & Vines will be serenading visitors at Saturday’s Art After Hours. Presented by Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art, this concert provides an opportunity to take in some art, sample complimentary Berkey Creamery ice cream and tap your feet to one of the area’s most delightful bands.
“We love outdoor, community-centered shows,” said vocalist Christie Clancy (aka Vines). “It’s always nice to see people of all ages singing along, dancing and just generally being able to enjoy a beautiful spot with some live music.”
“The Palmer Museum is one of those special treasures in our area,” added guitarist and vocalist Jonathan McVerry (aka Hops). “How many small towns have an art museum like the Palmer? It’s neat to be a part of the art appreciation scene that the museum creates, and we are really psyched to be playing.”
With a set list that reaches back to include selections from the past 50 years and a slew of genres, Hops & Vines prides itself on its expansive catalog of familiar and sometimes overlooked song choices. From The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to John Denver, Radiohead and Michael Jackson, Hops & Vines is able to offer something for even the most discerning of ears.
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“We try to find songs that people know, or we love, that may not be heard a lot from a cover band,” Clancy said. “We generally try to add our own twist or personality into some of our favorite songs, as well. We’ll change tempos or try a different arrangement. And as a female singer with a lower voice, we get to play around with songs that you may not expect to hear a female singer do.”
“From early on, our goal was to play songs people know but don’t hear all the time,” McVerry noted. “We like it when we start a song and someone abandons their buffalo wings to dance or just bob his or her head a little bit. You can see it in their eyes. They are pleasantly surprised. We pull stuff from all genres, so when we’re working ’80s dance or ’90s grunge into an acoustic tune and adding Vines’ vocals, you get something special.”
Although its proficiency in the art of the cover song is well-documented, Hops & Vines will also throw in an original tune or two to keep things fresh. The duo finds it exciting to wedge an original between two iconic songs every once in a while.
“We will more than likely play at least one original,” Clancy said. “It’s always a win if we see at least one or two people tapping along. Now, when we see someone singing along, that’s the absolute best feeling.”
“I am sure at least one original will show up on Saturday and as a guy who has been writing songs since he was 12, it’s very rewarding to play them,” McVerry said. “Performing the tunes in a community with so many great songwriters adds some shine to that rewarding feeling. Plus, it’s also kind of fun to hear your song sandwiched between Bob Dylan and The Beatles.”
Hops & Vines is truly in its element when it performs live. On Saturday, the duo hopes that its vast array of acoustic music will help to enhance the holdings that adorn the Palmer. This Art After Hours event is officially a sign that summer has arrived in State College.
The museum galleries will be open during the event.
“I love it when we set up and the crowd is finishing up their dinners or glancing at us unsure about what’s about to happen,” McVerry said. “Then we start playing and minute by minute and song by song people become more engaged. They start singing along and by the third set, they are up and dancing and cheering for more.”
“When we play, it’s sort of like theater and every show is a little different,” Clancy added. “It’s always great to see new and returning faces in the crowd and having the chance to interact with all of them. We’re hoping to have people singing along — perhaps even a few dancers — and it will definitely be a lot of fun.”
IF YOU GO
- What: Art After Hours: Hops & Vines
- When: 7-8:30 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Palmer Museum of Art plaza (Palmer’s Lipcon Auditorium in the event of rain)
- Info: palmermuseum.psu.edu/events/art-after-hours-hops-vines