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Fallen Angels' vocally-driven style weaves elements of country, folk and bluegrass into an entertaining blend of original music.

They have been performing in the Chicago area since 1997, and have opened for bands such as Charlie Robison and Freakwater, as well as headlining various venues, including FitzGeralds and The Hideout.

Band Bios    |    Interview    |    Song List    |    Listen



Fallen Angels are:

Jennifer Barron Fishman, Vocals, percussion
Jenny hails from Nebraska where she earned a degree in theatre/performance. A Chicagoan since 1991, she's spent the decade massaging, learning Yoga and singing with her friends from the Charleston.

Tim Menard, Vocals, guitar, harmonica, bass drum
Originally from Michigan, Tim began playing music professionally at age 13. A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Tim played in a number of bands before forming the Fallen Angels.

Lori Polzak, Vocals
Lori is a vocalist from Green Bay, Wisconsin. A Madrigal performance veteran, Lori sang in musicals and provided back-up vocals for the Lou Ryder Band before forming the Fallen Angels with Tim in 1997.

Cathie Van Wert, Fiddle, vocals
A Chicago native, Cathie studied classical violin. After taking Irish fiddle lessons, she joined the Angels in 1998. She has played with bands including Trippin' Billies and recorded with artists including Jennifer Annello, Steve Carver, John Kimler, Val Levanthal, and Steve and Jenny Moss.





  
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Interview with Fallen Angels:

How did the band come together?

Tim: In 1997, I found myself between bands and, after playing rock and blues for years with various groups, was starting to get back to my roots in country and bluegrass. I asked Lori if she wanted to form a band that drew on some of those influences and that was the beginning of the Fallen Angels. Meanwhile, Jenny was "puttin' out the psychic mojo" about wanting to sing, and she joined the group, too. A couple other Angels accompanied us that first year — James Wagner on banjo and bass, Rod Zipper on guitar and vocals — both of whom eventually left the band. Cathie joined in 1998 after playing with members of the band on St. PatrickÕs Day. Since then, the Fallen Angels have performed regularly — monthly at the Charleston Tavern and at a number of other venues.


What are some of your influences?

Band: Alison Krauss and Union Station, Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, Emmy Lou Harris

Tim: John Lennon, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, George Jones, Hank Williams

Lori: Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, James Taylor, Karen Carpenter

Jenny: Nanci Griffith, Alison Krauss, Joni Mitchell, David Wilcox, Emmy Lou Harris

Cathie: Rickie Lee Jones, Eileen Ivers, Indigo Girls, Hank Williams


How did the CD come about?

Tim: I think the band has matured and gelled over the last four years and the time was right to document where we are in our music at this point. For Jenny and I, it was also a chance to record songs we had written, as honestly as we could. Our goal was to capture the sound you'd hear when you come out to see us live.

Jenny: The band recorded whenever we could — evenings, weekends and odd days — so the CD took nearly a year to complete from start to finish. Everyone in the band is self-employed and that makes scheduling a challenge. Lori has a dog-walking business (Bowser's Beck and Call), I have a massage practice and teach Yoga classes, Cathie has a visual communications firm, (
DoubleTake Design, Inc.), and Tim does freelance sound engineering, painting and rehab, and is a session musician. So it didn't go as quickly as it could have, but I think the end result was worth the time.

Lori: For some of us, recording was a new experience, so we threw ourselves into it. I'd say the experience, which shatters egos and brings new understanding to the music, was very beneficial to the band. I think we're better as a result.


How does the band put songs together?

Cathie: When someone brings a new song into rehearsal, we play through the basics, find out how it works in the context of our sound. There's a lot of collaboration on the arrangement and on how the sound of the song is created. We discover whose voice is best as lead and work around that. We're constantly striving to make sure a song feels good to us first and then think about how itÕs going to feel in front of an audience.

Jenny: We gather, we gossip, we drive each other crazy, we laugh, we drink and smoke and create the finest music that we can and we love to share that. We love each other dearly. We love creating music together.



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Representative Song List:

All By Heart .......... Fallen Angels
Another Glass Of Wine .......... Fallen Angels
Are You Tired Of Me .......... Nanci Griffith
Ashes To Ashes .......... Fallen Angels
Beat Angels .......... Rickie Lee Jones
Blue Moon .......... Nanci Griffith
Blue Trail .......... Alison Krauss
Bucket .......... Hank Williams
Can't Let Go .......... Lucinda Williams
Clyde .......... J.J. Cale
Coal Miner's Blues .......... Hazel Dickens
Cryin' Is Easy .......... Fallen Angels
Dang Me .......... Roger Miller
Dixie Darlin' .......... Lewis & Rozum
Dreamtime Waltz .......... Fallen Angels
Everything Is Free .......... Gillian Welch
Folsum Prison Blues .......... Johnny Cash
Ford Econoline .......... Nanci Griffith
Gentle River .......... Alison Krauss
Gone .......... John Hiatt
Goodbye .......... Steve Earle
Harvest .......... Neal Young
Here Today .......... Hazel Dickens
Hey Porter .......... Johnny Cash
I Feel The Blues Movin' In .......... Del McCoury
If Wishes Were Horses .......... Claire Lynch
I'll Be Damned .......... Pure Prairie League
In-Between .......... Fallen Angels
I've Got That Old Feeling .......... Alison Krauss
I Want To Sing That Rock & Roll .......... Gillian Welch
I Will Miss You .......... Fallen Angels
Jackson .......... Johnny Cash
L.A. County .......... Lyle Lovett
Last Hard Bible .......... Kasey Chambers
Longest Highway .......... Alison Krauss
Lonesome Wind Blues .......... Rhonda Vincent
Make Me A Train .......... Fallen Angels
Mama Tried .......... Merle Haggard
Man Of Constant Sorrow .......... Union Station
Mojave .......... Iris Dement
Mornin' Sky .......... Dan Fogelberg
Misty Mt. Morning .......... Fallen Angels
Neverending Love .......... Delaney & Bonnie
One Woman Man .......... George Jones
Open To The Future .......... Fallen Angels
O'Fahey/Ryan Jigs .......... Irish Jigs
Red Brick Floor .......... Nanci Griffith
Ring Of Fire .......... Johnny Cash
Road Is A Lover .......... Alison Krauss
River .......... Fallen Angels
Rocky Top .......... Traditional
Roseville Fair .......... Nanci Griffith
Sixteen Days .......... Ryan Adams
Smoke .......... Fallen Angels
Southland in the Springtime .......... Indigo Girls
Splinters .......... Fallen Angels
Steel Rails .......... Alison Krauss
This Old Town .......... Nanci Griffith
Time Is On Our Side .......... Fallen Angels
Troubled .......... Bob Dylan
Trustin' Love .......... Fallen Angels
What Am I Worth .......... George Jones
What Goes On .......... The Beatles
Wish It Would Rain .......... Nanci Griffith
With You .......... Fallen Angels
Worried Old World .......... Fallen Angels
Worrisome Years .......... Greg Brown




  
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Listen:

Get a flavor of what the band sounds like with these Mp3 clips of original tunes:

Cryin' is Easy (1.1 MB)

Make Me a Train (1.2 MB)



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FALLEN ANGELS: Fallen Angels




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© 2015 Tim Menard. All Rights Reserved    |    contact: tim@timmenard.com