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Wednesday, May 7, 2008 03:22 am

Stolie rocks on

Former Tres Femmes member performs Friday and Saturday

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Stolie performs on Friday, May 9, at It’s All About Wine and on Saturday, May 10, at Marly’s Pub.
Untitled Document I caught up with Chicago singer/songwriter Stolie last week just as she was downloading material onto Sonicbids (an online promotional site for musicians). Before that she was updating her MySpace page, and next she was to work on memorizing words and music for a Bon Jovi medley that she was set to debut soon in her cover-duo act.
Asked whether she’s staying busy, she replies: “I’m working five or six nights a week between original solo shows, the cover duo, and hosting open mics. Then I have my Super Stolie kid shows on the weekend and I’ve got several birthday parties coming up. And there’s no end to the work that can be done checking Web sites, recording, and learning songs.”
I’m taking that as a yes. Springfield music fans may remember Stolie as a member of Tres Femmes, a trio of female singer/songwriters who played here regularly four or five years ago. Victoria Vox and Kellie Lin Knott, the two other members, are still making their livings playing music, too. “We see each other when we can, but everyone is so busy,” reports Stolie. “Kellie is settled into playing the Boston area, I’m in Chicago, and Victoria is still on the move.”
There was a time when Stolie lived on the road, trying to make ends meet while traveling from gig to gig. She soon discoverd that it was not the life for her. Rather than give up playing, though, she adjusted to making a living with music in ways that didn’t involve travel. “There are opportunities across the board here in different tiers of playing and levels of making money,” she says. “If you take care of business, you have time for art.”
Stolie has found a good balance not only between her business and her art but also in her recorded output. Her latest CD, Between the Fake and Real (2008), is a powerful statement both artistically and sonically. The songs are engaging and diverse, lyrically appealing and musically challenging, riding the line between familiarity and pushing limits. In addition to writing and arranging the material, Stolie recorded everything herself, using the stock Garageband program on a MacBook. “I wanted to use a full band but I didn’t have one, so I did it all myself,” she says. “I know what I wanted to hear, but I had to figure it out.”
She began the project in 2006, took her time, and finished last fall. She plans on some road work to push the disc, but intends to concentrate promoting the CD online. For future plans in the music business, Stolie definitely has a clear idea of where she’s going. “I don’t want to play in bars five or six nights a week forever and I’m not looking to get signed and make it big,” she says. “I want to sleep in my own bed at night, be around my friends, and play music, too.”

Stolie plays 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 9, at It’s All About Wine (1305 Wabash, Suite M, 217-546-9463) and somewhere in and around the Micah Walk Band and the Damwell Betters, between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at Marly’s Pub (9 W. Old State Capitol Plaza,
217-522-2280).


Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.
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