Lift the World

Curtis & Loretta

In cart Not available Out of stock

This album spotlights the husband-wife duo’s original songwriting with 10 new songs, many of which were written during the pandemic. Exhibiting the playfulness and pathos that are a hallmark of their live shows, this timely collection is full of songs that speak to our times yet feel like timeless folk classics.

Funded by a grant from the

This album spotlights the husband-wife duo’s original songwriting with 10 new songs, many of which were written during the pandemic. Exhibiting the playfulness and pathos that are a hallmark of their live shows, this timely collection is full of songs that speak to our times yet feel like timeless folk classics.

Funded by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, this album was certainly born of the pandemic. After over 40 years of almost constant touring, Curtis & Loretta, like so many musicians, found themselves stuck at home, with no work. During those days of canceled gigs, the duo had time and space to step back and view the world with clear and insightful vision, from the heart-warming, to the humorous, to the heart-breaking.

Curtis & Loretta use all the tools in their musical toolkit to present this collection of songs; their signature tight harmonies, folk harp, mandocello, guitars, banjo and ukulele, harmonica, shakers and kazoo. They are joined by guest musicians Tom Schaefer (fiddle), Sandy Njoes (bass), and Sera Smolen (bowed cello). As always, Curtis & Loretta combine equally strong strains of gravity and playful irreverence, for a captivating experience for their listeners.

Loretta Simonet is a fiscal year 2022 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Produced by Curtis Teague, Loretta Simonet & Doug Lohman Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Doug Lohman at Armadillo Sound, Minneapolis Graphic Design & Cover Artwork by Jeanne Bullard

This recording is dedicated to the courageous folks on the frontline of the pandemic, to all those lost, and also to the folks who helped their neighbors persevere through their generosity and consideration.

Read more…
0:00/???
  1. 1
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:48
  2. 2
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:21
  3. 3
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:09
  4. 4
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:14
  5. 5
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:22
  6. 6
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:50
  7. 7
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:19
  8. 8
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:31
  9. 9
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:39
  10. 10
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:30
  11. 11
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:17
  12. 12
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:31

Join our email list!

We'll send you occasional notices about concerts and CDs. We promise not to share your address with anyone!

Join our email list!

Appearing soon!

The Critics Say...

"Loretta's almost operatic alto and Curtis' rich tenor form a lush, polished and varied vocal blend. The pair's instrumental interplay is equally compelling, with Loretta's harp textures dancing in and around Curtis' deft guitar and mandolin lines."                          ... Dirty Linen

Visit us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter

When There's Good to Be Done

Curtis & Loretta

In cart Not available Out of stock

Poignant story-songs of real-life people who have overcome great challenges in their lives, with tight harmony vocals, folk harp, mandocello and guitar.

These are songs of strength, courage, hope, kindness, and determination. Loretta wrote each one about real-life, ordinary people, who turned out to be extraordinary. Backed by an Artist Initiative

Poignant story-songs of real-life people who have overcome great challenges in their lives, with tight harmony vocals, folk harp, mandocello and guitar.

These are songs of strength, courage, hope, kindness, and determination. Loretta wrote each one about real-life, ordinary people, who turned out to be extraordinary. Backed by an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she sought out people who had overcome great challenges in their lives and come out stronger for the journey. She interviewed each one, and crafted their story into a song.

The stellar cast of characters includes a woman who donated a kidney to a toddler she didn’t know; a native American man who grew up at the state orphanage in Minnesota amid great discrimination and abuse; a woman who grew up in great hardship in the grasslands of Somalia and is now a nurse at Mayo Clinic; a long lost love story of a couple who met in their 20s, lost touch and married in their 60s; one of the worst injured of the 35W bridge collapse survivors in Minneapolis; plus many more. The recording features ace Prairie Home Companion fiddler Peter Ostroushko on five tracks, and outstanding bowed cello player Jacqueline Ultan on three tracks. Sandy Njoes plays bass on 9 tracks, Sherri Leyda plays penny whistle on one track and hand drum on one track, Chuck Leyda plays mandolin on one track, and Bobb Fantauzzo plays Native American style flute on one track.

Minnesota Bluegrass Magazine says, "These are amazing stories….and each one is more powerful than the last….it's the best, most poignant, most powerful album of the nine this duo has recorded over the last quarter century. Loretta's songwriting has improved steadily over the years and now, a hundred songs later, it sparkles."

Besides Curtis & Loretta's extraordinary vocal harmonies, they accompany themselves on this recording on folk harp, mandocello, folk harp, and claw hammer banjo.

In 1977, a theater graduate was sitting on a beach in Santa Cruz, California playing her guitar, practicing for a variety show. A young Texan who had just returned to the mainland from Hawaii stopped and said, “Hey, I play guitar!” And he did! They sat down together on a piece of driftwood and as they sang, they couldn’t help but notice how well their voices meshed. They played together at the variety show that night, and have been singing together ever since, as the duo Curtis & Loretta.

They received an Arts Tour Minnesota grant from the State Arts Board in 2010, and were named “Best Acoustic Performers of the Twin Cities” by City Pages in 2002. Their CDs have appeared on “Top Albums of the Year,” at folkradio.org, and they’ve received several nominations for Best Acoustic Folk Artist for the Minnesota Music Awards. They have released 8 CDs, and shared billings with such luminaries as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Holly Near, Vassar Clements, Claudia Schmidt, and many more! Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet were married (to each other!) in 1987, and live in Minneapolis.

Read more…
0:00/???
  1. 1
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:26
  2. 2
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:07
  3. 3
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:19
  4. 4
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:54
  5. 5
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:46
  6. 6
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/6:42
  7. 7
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:00
  8. 8
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:36
  9. 9
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:00
  10. 10
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/6:07
  11. 11
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:53
  12. 12
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:38

Just My Heart For You

Curtis & Loretta

In cart Not available Out of stock

Award-winning acoustic duo delivers poignant original songs of angels and regular folks looking out for each other, along with timeless traditional pieces and fun songs of lutefisk, bugs, and more. “Perfect harmonies.acoustic virtuosity." .Dirty Linen Mag

THE PRESS TALKS ABOUT “JUST MY HEART FOR YOU”

“Husband-and-wife team Curtis Teague and

Award-winning acoustic duo delivers poignant original songs of angels and regular folks looking out for each other, along with timeless traditional pieces and fun songs of lutefisk, bugs, and more. “Perfect harmonies.acoustic virtuosity." .Dirty Linen Mag

THE PRESS TALKS ABOUT “JUST MY HEART FOR YOU”

“Husband-and-wife team Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet are living treasures of the Twin Cities folk scene, with a body of music rich in lovely harmonies and delicately wrought mandolin and harp. Though there’s plenty of traditional material on the duo’s new “Just My Heart For You,” it’s Simonet’s originals that are the real lifeblood.” . ...The Onion, Minneapolis

“For nearly 30 years and seven albums, Curtis & Loretta have developed a winning niche with their arsenal of Celtic and American traditional tunes, Loretta Simonet originals that unfold like short stories, antique stringed instruments and organic harmonies. The duo’s new CD,”Just My Heart For You,” adds a little Yiddish music and Stephen Foster to the mix.”
.....Tom Surowicz, Minneapolis Star Tribune

MORE INFO ON CURTIS & LORETTA

Curtis & Loretta’s music comes straight from the heart. The husband and wife duo’s extraordinary harmonies and proficiency on a parade of stringed instruments create an alluring frame for their poignant original songs, and carefully chosen traditional pieces from the British Isles, America, and beyond. The current menagerie includes Celtic harp, mandocello, mandolin, guitars, clawhammer banjo, and National steel ukulele, plus a bit of kazoo, harmonica, and shakers. At Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Focal Point in St. Louis, Bound for Glory in New York, and countless venues in between, this couple puts 40,000 miles a year on their van, captivating audiences with their heartfelt songs and delightful stage presence. Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says, “Loretta Simonet has a jewel of a voice, while Curtis Teague’s warm baritone and instrumentals are consistently impressive.” “Perfect harmonies...acoustic virtuosity on guitars, Celtic harp, and mandolin...” says national folk music magazine Dirty Linen.

Their newly released seventh recording, “Just My Heart For You,” features some of Curtis & Loretta’s most requested songs, including “Angel of Bergen-Belsen.” Rick Mason of City Pages (Mpls / St. Paul) calls it “a gem.” It’s the true story of Luba Frederick, a holocaust survivor who personally saved 54 children from the Nazis while she herself was a prisoner in the death camps. After Loretta wrote the song, she tracked Luba down in Miami, and the duo has been fortunate enough to visit this living legend several times. In October 2004 a children’s book about Luba’s experiences (“Luba - Angel of Bergen-Belsen,” by Michelle McCann) won a Jane Addams Peace Association award, and Curtis & Loretta performed at the awards ceremony at the United Nations.

The whole sentiment of the recording, of love and nurturing, angels and regular folks looking out for each other, is wrapped up in another original, “Can You Take Me Home?” It’s the sequel to “Gone Forever,” Loretta’s song about her dad’s battle with Alzheimer’s. This new song tells the story of her mother’s tireless devotion to caring for him even after he’d forgotten who she was. And lest you think all their songs are tear jerkers, don’t despair! Curtis & Loretta’s perennial humor shines through here, with songs of harp players trying to get into heaven, small spenders on first dates, bugs, and lutefisk! And don’t mis “Just My Heart,” a love song for love itself!

Two previous recordings, “Sit Down Beside Me,” and “Gone Forever,” garnered praise from reviewers. City Pages A-List said, “There’s something about the charming folk duo Curtis & Loretta that transcends their talents on a variety of stringed instruments, their finely interwoven vocal harmonies, and their ability to make traditional folk tunes--mostly from the British Isles--shimmer with fresh vitality. That secret ingredient is at the core of Loretta’s songwriting (Curtis ain’t no slouch on that score either.) With a journalist’s eye for detail and a knack for tugging at heartstrings while cutting to the quick of an issue, she writes riveting songs...”

In 2002, City Pages named them “Best Acoustic Performers of the Twin Cities.” That same year, as in 2003 and 2004, they received Minnesota Music Award nominations for Best Acoustic Folk Artist.

Curtis grew up in Duncanville, Texas, singing harmony in small country churches. He taught himself to play guitar, and everything else he’s come across in his ongoing quest for vintage stringed instruments. He has a diploma in Musical Stringed Instrument Repair and Building from Red Wing Technical College in Minnesota. Loretta grew up in Stillwater, the historic river town known as the “birthplace of Minnesota.” She graduated from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater (acting). She was a Minnesota Folk Festival songwriting contest finalist in 1999.

Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet first met each other in the late seventies, on the beach in Santa Cruz, California. Curtis had gotten there via a 5 year stint in Hawaii. B.A. degree in hand, Loretta headed for California for her big break in show business. Instead, she found Curtis on the beach (actually, he found her!!) They sat down on a log and sang together that first day, and since then they’ve performed across the country, at folk festivals, concerts, folk clubs, universities, on national and regional public radio, and on national cable television. They’ve shared billings with Jez Lowe, Vassar Clements, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Anne Hills, Greg Brown, and Bill Staines, to name just a few. The couple married in 1987, in Santiago, Mexico, near Manzanillo, and live in Minneapolis.

CURTIS TEAGUE Vocals, mandocello, mandolin, guitar, clawhammer banjo, ukulele, harmonica LORETTA SIMONET Vocals, Celtic harp, guitar, mandolin, kazoo, shakers

Read more…
0:00/???
  1. 1
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:37
  2. 2
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:46
  3. 3
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:07
  4. 4
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/7:06
  5. 5
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:11
  6. 6
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:07
  7. 7
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:04
  8. 8
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/0:22
  9. 9
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:58
  10. 10
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/1:23
  11. 11
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:02
  12. 12
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/1:40
  13. 13
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:46
  14. 14
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:49
  15. 15
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:07
  16. 16
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:29