About their Performances
“The songwriting and performing talent these fine musicians display is only upstaged by the fun you’ll have in their company. They’ll captivate you with their witty lyrics, impress you with their musicianship, and entertain you till the cows come home! Annie’s superb vocals, Rod’s guitar craftsmanship, Jason’s remarkable mandolin play, and the vocal harmonies all around make it easy to understand how they became 2-time Kerrville New Folk Finalists in 2010 and 2012.” – Paul Doss, Doss Barn Concerts, Evansville, Indiana (July 2016)
“This was the most fun we’ve had at our house. We booked Annie, Rod and Jason to play for a campout of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, many in their 20s, who danced, applauded and begged for more songs. The band happily obliged, and we had a blast. The songwriting is deep and touching, and both the performance and their personalities blew us all away with love and joy. “ – Claire Lea, Dockley Ranch, Ava Missouri (August 2016)
“You guys helped make one of our all time best memories. Kind of magical!” – Claire Lea, Dockley Ranch, Ava Missouri (August 2016)
“It’s a double header, a packed house and Annie and Rod Capps are following another married duo, The Kennedy’s, a duo that inspired them early on in their career, and who have just delivered a mesmerizing performance. With wit and humility, Annie and Rod captivated our audience right from the first song, all the way to the standing ovation and encore. Annie’s songs range from quirky to profound. Not only is she a masterful lyricist, but also a wonderful singer with a unique voice that delivers her stories in a seemingly effortless way, with perfect enunciation. An excellent rhythm guitarist, Annie also plays banjo. Rod Capps’ deft accompaniment on acoustic guitar belies a jazz to rock influence that perfectly supports and embellishes Annie’s songs, delivering them to the audience as if upon a silver platter. With a warm voice that complements Annie’s register Rod adds just the right touch of vocal harmony. He even demonstrated his wonderful fiddle playing at the end of the set. These two put on an energetic and varied show. We hope they’ll come back soon!” – Elaine Mahon/co-founder & coordinator of Sandhill Stage, Gainesville, FL
“It is such a joy to watch artists who do all the right things-for the right reasons-and then -by some alchemy…it all crystallizes into something totally unique and special. So it seems to be happening for Annie & Rod Capps. Journeymen and apprentices in the singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar-duo world, they have paid close attention, studied and absorbed, and created their own sound and presence: infectious, impeccable, engaging. They have done the hard road work; singing in bars, at song circles, house concerts, clubs and festivals, and we all are the beneficiaries. Keep an ear out …I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about them.” – David Tamulevich, Mustard’s Retreat/Tamulevich Artist Management/strong>
“Annie and Rod Capps write complex, winding melodies that fit Annie’s delicate voice perfectly. She sings with a relaxed, clean Midwestern twang, sliding you into the middle of lives and situations that are always interesting and dotted with real insight.”– Dave Siglin, The Ark
“Annie and Rod Capps provided the perfect kick off for our Concerts In Your Home series. Annie really connected with our audience. She is outright cute and such a joy to watch perform. Rod’s performance on the guitar was equally amazing. With each song, our guests found a new favorite. We wanted someone special to kick off our concert series and Jeff Robertson of www.concertsinyourhome.com recommended the Capps. We weren’t disappointed and are still smiling.” – Bob and Pat Hofbauer, West Bethesda Concerts
“Everything about Annie & Rod Capps’ music is thoroughly enjoyable whether it’s Annie’s sparkling vocals, Rod’s incredible guitar playing or their wonderful songs. These two are the real deal and your life will be richer for having seen and heard them, and for owning their CD’s. So treat yourself!” – Al Kniola, The Back Porch, 88.1 WVPE Public Radio
“There is vitality to their performance that is infectious. Great music by fun people!” – Jim McTiernan, Flint Folk Society
“When I look around the room at an Annie and Rod Capps performance, I see a lot of smiling faces with eyes riveted to the stage…there is a magic that energizes an audience. I can’t wait to bring them back to our concert series!” – Tim Piazza, Concerts at the Cabin
“It is always a pleasure to see talented people develop into great artists. That has been the case with Annie and Rod Capps. Their songs are finding new ways to capture my heart. Rod’s incredible talent on guitar, and Annie’s ability to connect with an audience are evident each time they play live. We are truly blessed to call them friends of Trinity House Theatre.” -Bill Keith, Concert Coordinator, Trinity House Theatre
“Their performances were simply outstanding” – Craig Carrick, Nor-east’r Music Festival and Host of Carrick’s House Concerts
“The audience is drawn in right from the beginning with Annie’s amazing voice and the power of her songs. She has a way of making everyone in the venue feel like she is his or her personal friend.” – Dave Rutkofske, Blue Water Folk Society (Thumbfest)
“Singer/Songwriter, Annie Capps is heir to the long history of folk music as a medium for social commentary. At the same time, she is clearly a folksinger for the 21st century, using her art to explore the psychology of the individual to engage in a little fret therapy.” (Stephanie Kadel-Taras, Ann Arbor Observer)
“A Michigan treasure…” – Jan Krist
About My Blue Garden
Review: Alternate Route Featured Artist Week of May 7 – 14?
Annie and Rod Capps say it perfectly in their bio, so I will do some quoting. The tales that inhabit ‘My Blue Garden’, their sixth album are described as “Songs about broken things and poignant little ponderings are delivered with a rootsy vibe, a touch of twang and a soulful groove”. Perfect. The characters in theses songs, and the gentleness that surrounds them, are one. The mood varies, the sound/style shifts and capers. Plunky banjo and lonely fiddles (“My Blue Garden”), bright bursts of energy and playing (“Honey, Sugar, Baby, Mine”), somber glimpses of life (“Tragic and Lovely”), folk tinged testaments to survival (“Another Day”) and twangy country rave ups (“Everything Good”) all fall victim to the draw of Annie Capp’s vocals. Warm textures and hard living experience come together giving birth to an emotional tone that captivates and clearly states each case.
Annie and Rod have been traveling as sidekicks on a musical path since 1982. It shows. Where Annie brings in the grit via her vocals, Rod compliments with easy playing and arrangements that capture the needed feel and form to cradle the stories, nurturing, supporting every nuance. ‘My blue Garden’ features the cream of the playing crop from the duo’s native Michigan. The added cast offers tasteful playing and harmonies born in another place and gifted to the fine work already in place thanks to Annie’s pipes. Songwriting is a key ingredient to the successful results of ‘My Blue Garden’. Tenderness and emotion are what holds the songs in place.
Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Route
Review: Annie and Rod Capps release new album, “My Blue Garden”
By Bob Needham, AnnArbor.com (Click to read on line
“My Blue Garden,” the new album by Annie and Rod Capps, abounds with new twists on old themes. These well-crafted songs live in mostly familiar territory, but it’s seen in original ways.
The best song on the album may be the opener, “Serenity Road”, a wistful nod to times that are changing, and not necessarily for the better. It’s a well-worn idea, of course, but the Capps give it a different spin. The title metaphor can’t help but recall “Big Yellow Taxi,” which only lends the lyric added depth.
“Honey Sugar Baby Mine” echoes the old folk chestnut “Crawdad Song” (and “Fishin’ Blues,”, too), both lyrically and musically. But it’s irresistible and still sounds fresh. This basic scene has been sketched endless times in countless songs over the years, but I’m not sure it’s ever been done better.
“Everything Good” offers a portrait of star-crossed lovers — again, familiar ground. But with great lines like “Until the barroom lights come up, he’s the one she loves,” it doesn’t feel that way.
“Someone Who Knows” is a word of caution to a young woman making mistakes the narrator recognizes all too well. “Another Day” feels like an outtake from a Mary Chapin Carpenter album, and I mean that in a good way. And when it comes to revisiting old themes, the title song outdoes itself — weaving together Jack and the beanstalk, Adam and Eve, and the cow jumping over the moon into a cohesive (if hard to describe) whole.
The Capps’ basic sound sits somewhere in the middle of the rootsy sort of Americana/folk that so many in this area do so well — and this duo is among the best. Both halves of this Chelsea-based married couple play guitar, and Annie sings lead.
On this album, they are backed by a number of names familiar from the regional folk scene, with Jason Dennie’s mandolin getting special billing. Throughout, the playing is spirited and flawless, and the recording is cleanly and crisply produced (by Glenn Brown and the couple). The Capps’ “Blue Garden” is a perfect place to spend some time on a summer afternoon.
From Fran Snyder of Concertsinyourhome.com
Annie and Rod Capps are familiar names (OK, friends) for anyone who attends Folk Alliance conferences. Super-genial, understated musicians that will rip your heart out with a song if you put your guard down. You’ve been warned- and you’ll be charmed.
For: fans of song, especially those who prefer traditional-ish delivery that belies the clean, world-class production.
From Tom Saunders – DJ and host of Folk it! Radio program on a3radio.com
My Blue Garden
Johnny’s Speakeasy is a great place to see a show. In the former apple cellar and speakeasy, music is king ,and Johnny is the reigning Prince of genial hosts, making folks feel at home and talking to everyone as though he has known them for 20 years.
Here was the perfect place to have Annie and Rod Capps stage the release party for their sixth album, “MY BLUE GARDEN”. Along with steel guitar master Drew Howard (Capt. Midnight), Tommy Emmanuel rival Jason Dennie, and singer, Christine Schlenker doing harmonies, the packed crowd was treated to the incredible prospect of a 2 hour and twenty minute extravaganza of music from one of Americas fast rising composers, Annie Capps.
It used to be in the old days, say 5 years ago, that you could say,” Lets go somewhere tonight. Annie and Rod are playing at … insert any number of places” and that would be that. A good time, great music and jaw dropping guitar work from Rod Capps all to be seen in a local haunt. But with the release of “IN THIS TOWN” two years ago Annie Capps took a giant leap into real, solid, introspective, tear your heart out, song writing. The shows still were the same breezy, happy, magical things that they were, with Annie the Master of the live show, holding forth for her friends. But now the music and the lyrics and the delivery were several notches higher. The depth of the words were far deeper and, if possible, Rod’s guitar arrangements, even more melodic and captivating.
MY BLUE GARDEN is a ten song extension of this charge on the music scene. Some of the songs have been performed with The Yellow Room Gang, and most have found their way into the live shows. “Honey, Sugar, Baby, Mine” and Crocodile Man” are the most tuneful and fun but the other offerings, especially” Sherriff’s Daughter” show Annie Capps at her best. On a par with “In This Town” it will become the most played song on the CD in my opinion.
The new CD is released in July and is available at CD BABY or at www.anniecapps.com.
Get the CD now and see them while you still can. Ann Arbor has lost The Hummingbirds, Al & Whit Hill and Luke Sayers in the last few years. Nashville is not that far away for the Capps and somehow a visit will not be the same as having them here in our town so we can say on any old night, “Let’s go somewhere tonight. Annie and Rod are playing at … “
Host- Producer FOLK IT!
Sundays 6 PM
From WYCE http://www.grcmc.org/radio/music.php
Regional musicians (they’re from Chelsea) Annie and Rod Capps deliver a set of “small town” American folk music, accentuated by Annie’s high soprano and a familiar supporting cast made up of Rachael Davis, Jen Sygit, Jan Krist, Jim Alfredson (Organissimo) and others. While I appreciated their homespun originals, it is the two cover tunes that caught my attention — Dave Carter’s “Crocodile Man” and the gospel number “Soon Be Free.” Folk music is alive and well in the hearts, voices and fingers of this couple. 08/09 Michael J. F-Traditional REGIONAL
About “In This Town”
John Shelton Ivany Top 21 http://www.jsitop21.com/312.html
The Capps are a powerhouse duo. It seems that marriage either ruins or makes your music. As of late, I seem to have gotten quite a few releases from couples, and more often than not it ends up being superb. With Annie and Rod Capps, we have a couple from thirteen plus years, writing and performing folk-esq stories of leaving home and finding it: little vignettes in each song.
While having an album flow from beginning to end is a great way to take your recordings, having each song stand alone, independent from the rest of the record definitely has some appeal. It’s not only lyrical content: songs range all over the board in the realm of folk music. We have songs like “The Ring” which takes a sort of country twang, and “Back in ’75” traces the mold of the singer/songwriter genre.
Rod focuses on the stringed instruments (slide guitar, electric guitar, bass, yada yada ya…), while Annie seems to be responsible more for the vocal tracks. I don’t know if I’d say I love her voice, but it’s most certainly different. A childlike quality to her range and vocal inflections reminds me a bit of Rilo Kiley, but not quite as “cute”, if you can imagine that. Not that it detracts from the rest of the music, rather Annie’s voice adds color to the already vibrant music that the Capps have created together.
From Music Matters Review – Issue 24
By Michael Devlin
Here’s a duo who perform simple, well-written and played songs. Annie has a grown-up girl next-door voice as she sings with a slightly flat Midwestern accent. Rod plays various guitars and banjos. They are not trying to dazzle with flashy playing or show stopping vocals, but the songs are truly told with a beautiful eye for detail. Annie’s voice is disarming as she effortlessly captures your attention with her narrative stories. The music eases through various styles, every bit of it well played in straightforward arrangements that could easily be taken on the road. If this album is any indication, one could imagine being at one of their concerts begging them to play just one more song far into the night.
From the Lansing State Journal 7/5/07
Capps duo is a mature entry in folkie-songwriter genre
by Chris Rietz
“In This Town,” coming out Tuesday, is the fifth album from longtime Ann Arbor songwriting luminary Annie Capps and her multi-instrumentalist/musical director husband, Rod.
In years past, they were bandmates in Detroit-based bands Dreamstreet and Foolish Mortals; Annie is also a charter member of the Yellow Room Gang, a sort of Ann Arbor songwriter mafia and occasional performance group with the Mustard’s Retreat boys, Whit Hill, Kitty Donohoe, Matt Watroba, David Barrett and others.
Annie and Rod sing songs and play guitars; and the folkie- songwriter genre can seem so overpopulated and colorless that many listeners simply won’t be interested. That’s too bad, because Annie Capps is an exception, and the reasons why make a fairly long list.
First of all, Annie is a grownup, and the mature outlook of an artist who’s tended her own garden well for a long time is refreshing, in a genre seemingly owned by youthful angst (or narcissism). “In Time” (we think he meant “In This Town”) is the final break from her confessional style of the past, and her song’s narratives are now entirely fiction – a parallel universe where real truth resides.
In this regard, “In This Town” is her breakout album. The songs are deliciously underwritten, almost snapshots, and the best are vignettes that suggest vastly more than they depict. “Find a Smile” is a trucker-and-his-lonely-wife song with a dark undercurrent unlike any other trucker song; “The Ring” is a masterfully crafted anecdote about finding a diamond ring in a pile of shattered glass.
Annie and Rod also resist the temptation to affect a countrified sound, the haven du jour for countless mediocre songwriters. Annie has a warm, little- girl voice that never drawls, nor does she force it into uncomfortable territory; it’s unmannered and direct, and it’s always appealing.
Because she’s the singer – and more or less the sole songwriter – Annie may be the star of the show. But Rod gets equal billing, and rightfully so: the arrangements and production are his bailiwick. Note how his funk bass bounces off Annie’s ukulele in “Tumbling Down,” likely the first such pairing ever; and how his facile, quicksilver guitar-playing fills the album with spark yet somehow never gets in the way.
Chris Rietz works at Elderly Instruments in Lansing. His reviews appear every other week in What’s On. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the June 2007 Issue of the Ann Arbor Observer
By James M. Manheim
“If I lived in this town, I would frequent this café,” sings Annie Capps “and that table in the corner would be mine most every day.” Capps has a way of starting a song with an image that’s simple yet arresting enough to propel you through the ensuing developments, which often cover quite a bit of territory. That one leads to a whole imagined new existence for an unhappy woman, resembling the one that unexpectedly comes to fruition in Anne Tyler’s novel The Ladder of Years. Quite a few of her songs instantly place you in the protagonist’s mind: “Crossed the Mississippi, said good-bye to you/Hello to the road and a new thought or two.”
Capps is one of a group of Ann Arbor songwriters (sometimes known as the Yellow Room Gang) who have created a genuine local scene and often taken it on the road to metro Detroit and northwestern Ohio and the northern Lower Peninsula. One among their number, Jan Krist, coined the term “Midwest Urban folk” to describe the music they make – they are all into detailed songcraft, but they grew up in Michigan amid rock and Motown and country, and there’s usually a beat of one kind or another running through the music. Annie Capps works with her husband Rod on guitars and other strings, and her band often features the subtle percussion of Christine Schinker. They form a tight, symbiotic group that sets a mood for Capps’ songs without over-whelming them.
Capps has been writing songs since she was eleven, and the music on her older albums often had an appealing mixture of confession and sass. When she comes to the Ark on Friday, June 22, she’ll have a new release, In This Town. I’ve heard a working version and it’s terrific. Capps has some great story songs – the title track quoted above and The Ring, a virtuoso effort about a woman who is sweeping up shattered glass  and spots a wedding ring in the debris. As her reflections unfold – “The trouble with hope is the way that it shatters” – they’re periodically qualified by a little “sometimes, anyways” that makes the whole funny-sad set of images reverberate in the brain.
Capps also broadens her range on In This Town, probably under the influence of her Yellow Room Gang associates. Some of her new songs tackle big spiritual questions the way that Krist does, and others have a bit of Whit Hill’s quirky outlook. That’s how you make a promising scene grow, and those who follow Michigan songwriting or just want to check some out should come on down to the Ark for Annie Capps turn in the spotlight.
“Watch out for Annie Capps. Her latest recording and recent live shows are proof that yet another major talent is developing here in Michigan.” –Matt Watroba, WDET “Folks Like Us”
“[’One Big Show’ is] a perennial classic.” – Steve Jerrett, KOPN, 89.5 FM – Columbia, MO
“Such a good song, such a good album! Your overall sound is so fresh, totally unique in style . . .not to mention the awesome songwriting.” -Lilli Kuzma, WDCB, Glen Ellyn, IL “Folk Festival
“Wow – [In This Town] is awesome! Wonderful collection!” – Jerry Saint, WMHB, Waterville, ME
“It’s fantastic!” – Marty Scarbrough, KASU Program Director, State University, AR
“Already know the Capps will be a fave for me.” – Norm Mast, WVPE, Elkhart, IN