Congress of Starlings: Aerin Tedesco & Andrea Bunch
Chicago-based Congress of Starlings progressive folk-rock fills the room with fun energy, magical lyrics, stellar harmonies, and challenging reflections on nature, gender, and humanity. Aerin Tedesco and Andrea Bunch have been entertaining midwest and east coast audiences for over a decade at folk, rock and college clubs. Fans will catch COS as an intimate duo or as a four-piece band with their stunning rhythm section; Greg Nergaard and Janet Cramer. Known primarily for gorgeous vocal harmonies and stellar songwriting, Andrea & Aerin do not settle for the standard folk stasis of guitar and voice. Instead they employ a wide palette of sounds and instruments from Aerin's ever-present tenor guitar to Andrea's computer generated tones. Their live show ranges from traditional acoustic folk to laptop tinged anti-folk and back again. The duo released their first collaborative album ALBEDO in November 2006. The duo's 2004 appearance at the National Women's Music Festival was described as "music that swings from thunderous electronic rants to breathtaking acoustic ballads". Recently, the duo supported their separate solo albums Numinous (Andrea) and Birthmark (Aerin) by performing together at many colleges and festivals including Iowa Women’s Music Fest, Estrojam, National Women’s Music Fest, and Queer is Folk. Along the way they have shared the stage with talent such as Dar Williams, Melissa Ferrick, Michelle Malone, Kinnie Starr, Lowen & Navarro, Zoe Lewis, Gail Ann Dorsey and Ember Swift.
"Tedesco not only has a vocal range that goes from a quiet tear-stained whisper to a ferocious razor lilt, but also a telling feel for drama that’s both arresting and vulnerable at the same time." - Vern Hester, Windy City Times The moment she picked up her father's 1958 Harmony tenor guitar, Aerin Tedesco started writing songs . . . and she never stopped. After graduating from Bard College in the Hudson Valley, Aerin returned to her hometown of Buffalo, NY, where she performed at well-known local venues and collaborated with artists such as rock diva Alison Pipitone, guitar legend Michael Meldrum, and songstress Kathy Moriarty. Her work in Buffalo earned her an appearance on the television program AM Buffalo, an invitation to read her songs at the public library poetry series, and nominations for an Artvoice Music Award and Buffalo Music Award. Aerin has traveled across the U.S. and Canada, performing at clubs, coffeehouses, colleges, and festivals (including Lilith Fair, North by Northeast, National Women’s Music Festival, and Great Blue Heron Festival). Concert reviewers delight in her spunky onstage presence, expressive songwriting, captivating voice, and trademark tenor guitar. When Aerin released her fourth album, Angels and Allegories, it appeared in ICE Magazine’s "Indie Five" in 1999. The album was eagerly sought after by an international mailing list of fans who had discovered Aerin through a multitude of avenues such as live performances, local record stores, radio programs, and print media. www.andreabunch.com www.aerintedesco.com Aerin moved to Chicago and went on to release her fifth CD, Birthmark, in 2003. Most of the album was recorded by Belfast native and local Chicago engineer Joe Cassidy (Butterfly Child, Assassins) and features a host of local talent such as Doug Brush on drums and percussion (Las Guitarra s de Espana, Kristin Shout), Nick Macri on bass (Euphone, Bobby Conn), J.P. Cassidy on electric guitar (Magnesium, Cardinals), Steve Thorngate on electric guitar (Sinister Luck Ensemble), Rob Stephenson on guitar (Sunnyside Up), and Andrea Bunch on vocals. Aerin has since moved into the next leg of her already burgeoning career — performing with Andrea Bunch as a duo. The two have recorded their debut album, which, if the past is any indication, will surely be released to great fan appreciation and critical acclaim.
Andrea Bunch "A great poet once said ‘make it new’. The anti-folk songs on Andrea Bunch’s distinguished debut album Numinous find a common place for acoustic instrumentation and clear and powerful vocals to be enhanced by unusual samples and synthesizer sounds. - Gregg Shapiro, Windy City Times Spurred by a passion for seeking out interesting sounds and morphing them into songs, Andrea Bunch creates music out of everything from frogs and creeks to cement cutters and dental equipment. Laying her acoustic guitar- and piano-driven songs upon this rich, eclectic foundation, Andrea creates compelling and imaginative music. Her debut recording Numinous was named the Chicago Song Circle’s Best Female CD of the Year upon its release, and was also nominated for Outstanding Debut Recording by Outmusic NYC. Before diving into music, Andrea’s life was a "sampler pack" of university education and travel: She graduated from Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy, then pursued acting studies in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago to intern at The Steppenwolf Theatre and study History at De Paul University. She went on to study Biology and Psychology at University of Iowa, and the things Andrea witnessed in the research labs and while working at a pet store triggered her strong animal rights ethic. This pushed her away from a would-be career in science, and toward music. Concentrating on honing her craft, Andrea moved back to Chicago and began to play guitar and piano. She bolstered years of musical education and practice with some unusual gigs. For example, in 2002 Andrea lived in a 90-foot replica of a Thames River sailing barge while touring with Canadian performance group Caravan Stage Barge, giving performances from the docked boat to people on the shore! She has also written and recorded music for Ladyfest Midwest and organizes an annual fundraiser for the Chicago Recycling Coalition called "Rock Against the Blue Bag". Andrea currently teaches guitar at The Old Town School of Folk Music while recording and touring with musical partner Aerin Tedesco. In spite of — or perhaps because of — her array of life experiences, Andrea was able to discover her true passion: music. She explores and pursues this passion with fervor, working toward a lifelong career of doing what she loves.
Aerin Tedesco, Andrea Bunch, and Greg Nergaard of Congress of Starlings have teamed up with John Mead, Steve Alspach, and Debbie Kaczynski to create Little Queens, a passionate tribute to the magical music of Heart. This multi-talented, seasoned group of performers delivers loving, detailed versions of songs from Heart's classic 70's lineup - Magic Man, Barracuda, Love Alive, and much more. Aerin and Andrea channel the Wilson sisters' power and beauty with their own glorious harmonies, and the complex interplay of electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards recall Heart's rich, unique sound flawlessly.