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