The contemporary folk and western duo will perform later this month | Local

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Those who love The cowboy western songs of yesteryear will be in luck because later this month two of these singers will hit their horses in Columbus.

The duo of Kerry Grombacher and Aspen Black will bring a collection of contemporary folk and Western music at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 19, to Room 127 of the Columbus Public Library, 2419 14th St. The free concert, “Stories in Song,” present stories and portraits of the western landscape.

“The program we do at the library will be a bit more folk than western,” Grombacher said. “We do a lot of western songs. We are going to explore our repertoire a little more.

Grombacher and Black — who have been a duo since 2014 — have performed across the country, appearing at art councils, private concerts, festivals, museums and libraries. The songs are influenced by traditional English ballads, string band music found in Appalachia — where Black is from — and the corrido style of the Southwest, a place where Grombacher lived and worked, according to the library.

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CPL customer service manager Kelli Keyes said attendees will learn a lot about the West at the concert.

“You get the story and you get the entertainment in the song at the same time,” Keyes said.

Through their music, Grombacher said they hope attendees gain a new appreciation for their surroundings.

“It’s just looking at it differently,” he said.

Grombacher has a long history in music. He started playing semi-professionally as a child in the 1960s.

He credited his family for his love of playing, saying his father – while a US Army officer – was also a classical pianist. His father also had a passion for country music which he passed on to his son.

“He was an immigrant from Germany in the 1930s and while in the military he fell in love with country music,” Grombacher said. “So I grew up with country and bluegrass around me since the early 1950s.”

Outside of folk and country, Grombacher dabbled in rock and roll. Eventually he got into cowboy music in the 1990s following an invitation from a cowboy poet he knew, he said.

During this time, Black wrote indie rock and folk songs. She also had a short career in Nashville, Tennessee, Grombacher said.

Grombacher said he has a deep admiration for the Midwest as he is originally from Kansas but currently resides in New Orleans. Grombacher previously played a solo show in Columbus in March of last year.

Keyes said Grombacher put on quite a show last year and was looking forward to seeing him perform with Black together.

“I’m really excited to have them both here,” Keyes said.

Although Grombacher and Black do not call their music educational, their songs contain a lot of information about the West.

“A lot of times it will be an interesting tidbit about the country they haven’t been to or a piece of history they’re not aware of or really thought about,” Grombacher said. “We try to pique people’s interest by giving them information they don’t have in a wide variety.”

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