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RACHEL AMMONS – WEDNESDAY, 3/18/20 @ 5:30 PM

Rachel Ammons Music is half of the beloved “psychedelta” duo Tyrannosaurus Chicken and toured the past few years with the internationally in-demand Ben Miller Band, which mixes folk, blues, bluegrass, country and other odds and ends to make what the band calls “Mudstomp.” Ammons sings and plays violin, cello, guitar and electric cactus. “Smilin’ ” Bob Lewis, her godfather and Tyrannosaurus Chicken bandmate, was the luthier who kept a shop in the back of Musicians Exchange in Van Buren. Ammons apprenticed under him for years, and the electric cactus was her doing.

“I was messing with a cactus at a friend’s house and noticed that the different spines made different tones. Not only that but some of the intervals were actually on a musical scale,” she explained. “I started with some combinations of 3 or 4 notes, almost arpeggios that sounded kinda classical. It blew me away. The connection makes sense, though, if you look at the link between math, biology and music.” She put a pickup on the cactus and likes to run it through effects pedals. She thinks it sounds just like a “kalimba mixed with a guitar.”

Rachel Ammons: cactus queen

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