Mercyhurst University

You are here

MIAC presents Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Oct. 21

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Harmonic, rhythmic and enduring — these are the hallmarks that embody the collective souls of the folk quartet Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, who will perform American Spiritual on Friday, Oct. 21, in Walker Recital Hall at Mercyhurst University.

In American Spiritual, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem lead concert audiences in a bona fide revival. There’s no tent, no potluck dinner — and no preaching, unless you count the band’s uproarious and wise stories.

Instead, this charismatic quartet administers songs and tales that explore and revive the human spirit. From a lush setting of Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” to prison work songs, blues, gospel and original compositions, American Spiritual draws from 200 years of roots music to find songs that uplift and connect.

The quartet is led by Arbo on fiddle. Arbo grew up a cellist and chorister in New York City but was drawn to the fiddle and its deep-southern sounds in college. She co-founded the bluegrass-folk band Salamander Crossing in 1991 before founding daisy mayhem in 2000.

Other band members include Scott Kessel (percussion), Anand Nayak (guitar) and Andrew Kinsey (bass).

With infectious camaraderie, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem easily coax audiences to join their spine-tingling, rafter-shaking harmonies, clap to roaring fiddle tunes and open their hearts to songs of love and loss. 

This is American Spiritual — in which big questions are asked, few are answered, much harmony is sung, and a joyful string band is let loose to dispense its good medicine.

“Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem dig deep into their collective souls, finding joy in the moment, peace in the harmonies, and rapture in the rhythmic drive,” raves the Hartford Courant.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will also spend several days in and around Erie conducting workshops at the Barber National Institute, Saint Gregory School, the Carpe Diem Academy, expERIEnce Children’s Museum, Springhill Senior Living Center and the Mercy Center of the Arts.

Residency activities include “Recycled Rhythms,” an interactive performance featuring recycled materials and wooden harmonicas, and an interactive band workshop, which includes harmonizing, song arranging and questions about band life and the art of improvisation.

This performance of American Spiritual is sponsored by the Erie Reader and BOB FM 94.7. The 2016-2017 MIAC Live season is sponsored by Cumulus Media, with additional support from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA).

Tickets for American Spiritual are $15 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and $10 for students and youth. Seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 824-3000.