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Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004 08:17 pm

now playing 12-2-04

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Tres Femmes

I have no sense of time, but it seems to me that it was only a year and half or so ago when Stolie, a publicist/whatever-needs-to-be-done person at Bloodshot Records in Chicago, e-mailed me about the Songwriter Circle acoustic get-together I host at the Underground City Tavern. Our little therapy group meets on Wednesday nights to trade songs and stories and talk about the beauty and glory of songwriting and all the lesser elements of life.

Stolie (only one name needed) and two other female songwriting singers had put together a combo and were on the road to tell the world about it. When they showed up a couple of weeks later at the circle, the charisma and talent of the three young ladies beguiled us all. The women hadn't been together long and were still telling the charming story of how they met on tour, decided to sing together while backstage, and discovered how good they sounded together -- and voilà, Tres Femmes was born. Since that delightful and fateful moment, Kellie Lin Knott, Victoria Vox, and Stolie have combined forces for a studio CD (released in June 2004) and made several small club tours. Each performer has a solo show independent of the trio and is exclusively playing music for a living. They make it all fun, and their upcoming holiday tour is no exception. Titled "We 3 Femmes," the show travels to Chicago, Normal, and here, then up through Wisconsin and Minnesota before closing down for the season. The trio produced an a cappella selection of holiday classics featuring four songs with just their three voices as a gift for those smart enough to purchase the original full-length Tres Femmes CD (now discounted to $12 for holiday shoppers). Included on the sampler are the timeless classics "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Let it Snow," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "Silent Night." Upping the Yuletide ante, the women are also asking for gifts of nonperishable food items. They promise not to be starving artists for a day and will truly donate the donated items to food banks in the singers' hometowns. Not only should you make an extreme effort to check out them out, you have two opportunities to do so.

See Tres Femmes from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Recycled Records, 625 E. Adams St.; and 10 p.m.-midnight at Jazz Central Station, in the Hilton Springfield, 700 E. Adams St. Neither venue is charging a cover.

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