Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Haunted Windchimes to play at the Fine Arts Center

By Jen Mulson Updated: January 6, 2014 at 12:55 am

If it weren't for the old-school social networking site Myspace, Desirae Garcia and Inaiah Lujan might never have met.

And if they hadn't embarked upon a romance over the phone, they might never have decided to make music together and call themselves The Haunted Windchimes. They certainly wouldn't have asked Lujan's sister, Chela, to learn banjo and sing some vocals, or invited guitarist Mike Clark and bass player and singer Sean Fanning to join them on stage.

But they did, and six years later, the quintet from Pueblo is making the kind of Americana and folk music that makes listeners fall in love with them.

One of those listeners was Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame. In 2011, when the popular public radio show landed at the Pikes Peak Center, they were invited to be a musical guest. Keillor described them as "popular among the grey hairs, green hairs, purple hairs and all over."

"Being able to drop that you were on the show is a good bargaining chip," Lujan said. "We've traveled all over since then, and we never run into a location or situation where there isn't at least one or two people who heard us on the radio, and came out because they heard that."

Lujan recalls being deluged afterward by album orders at their record label, Blank Tape Records.

"I remember sitting there on the Saturday after the show aired," Lujan said, "and emailing hundreds of people and letting them know we're a small organization, and we just received the most orders we've ever gotten in our whole lives."

It's easy to hear why their popularity soared. Crowds go silent when the group's gorgeous harmonies fill a concert hall or outdoor stage. That, and the kaleidoscope of instruments they play, including ukulele, concertina, fiddle, harmonica and mandolin, attract bluegrass fans. Their fourth album, "Out With the Crow," was released in 2012.

It was the band's first tour, through Southern states such as Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, that fine-tuned their quintessential sound, Lujan said. That, and his burgeoning love affair with Garcia.

"What came out from the beginning was Desi and I exploring our love with one another," he said. "A guy and girl duo singing songs about love and heartache. It was not until that first tour that our sound took on a different shape. And it was one of those planetary alignments. We heard the right music in the right place, and it shaped another evolution of the 'Chimes sound, which is where we draw the Americana and roots and bluegrass feel."

The ages of the bandmates span a 10-year range, with Garcia clocking in at 25 and Fanning the band elder at 35.

"There's a good dynamic of musical maturity and a sort of wide-eyed newness," Lujan said. "Those couple really well with our group. There's much to learn from the veterans in the group, but also much to learn from the sort of newness and excitement of the young members of the band."

And it's not just the musicality of the group, but the words they choose.

"We're focused on storytelling, and stories about the human condition and relationships with the world and with our surroundings," Lujan said. "When you tap into something that's honest and truthful about yourself, that gives somebody something to cling on to and relate to."

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Contact Jennifer Mulson at 636-0270.

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The Haunted Windchimes

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.

Tickets: $20; 634-5583, csfineartscenter.org

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