The Eclectic Musical Wizardry of THE MOXIE STRINGS

Midland Center for the Arts Showcases Michigan Made Artists in Summer Music Series

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Artist Feature,   From Issue 933   By: Robert E Martin

04th August, 2022     0

As part of their Made in Michigan Summer Music Series, which began right after Memorial Day, The Midland Center for the Arts will be showcasing The Moxie Strings in a special outdoor concert slated for Sunday, August 21st beginning at 6:30 PM.

According to the Center’s Josh Holliday, this series that began right after Memorial Day has focused upon showcasing rising national talents with Michigan based ties. “The goal of our native Michigan series at the Center has focused on looking at artists making great things happen and forging significant artistic strides around the country. So far we’ve featured The Accidentals and Pete Travis, and are excited about being able to feature The Moxie Strings.”

Thus far this new summer series has been very successful. “Given the large size of the stage and the way our outdoor seating is configured, we can usually handle up to 500 people and are happy with attendance at these shows.  Our last show pulled 400 for The Accidentals, and despite the fact that people have plans and vacations going on in the summer, we continue to find attendees coming back and new audiences interested with each specific artist we’ve featured,” explains Josh.

“Last summer we did a couple concerts and two theatrical productions with the outdoor stage as we were climbing out of the pandemic,” he continues, “and found people loved being outdoors for these musical experiences, so felt we had developed a successful model we wanted to continue post-pandemic.  Our set-up outside is conducive for the best concert experience and our food & beverage team is working hard to make sure patrons’ experience at the Center is special, upscale, affordable, and unique from other places.”

The Moxie Strings offer listeners an opportunity to experience some of the world’s best- known instruments through an electric, innovative lens. Diana Ladio and Alison Lynn hold Bachelor of Music degrees in music performance and music education, which have given each the technical foundation to explore the limits of her instrument and helped the group build a reputation for musical excellence.

Alison performs on a newly-invented, electric cello, and Diana on a contemporary 5-string violin. Both use a variety of audio effects pedals. They compose the majority of their pieces and arrange melodies from many countries, resulting in a genre-blurring blend of ear-catching, mainstream melodies and foot-stomping, rock-influenced rhythms. The band’s polished, high-energy show continues to redefine strings’ role in contemporary music, and offers audience members a diverse and engaging musical experience.

Soon after they formed in 2007, The Moxie Strings were inspired not only to perform, but also teach. Having made the exploratory journey from classical music to a world of eclecticism and music creativity, the band has now dedicated their careers to helping young musicians make this life-changing and transformative transition by offering clinics focusing on musical self-discovery and the importance of incorporating socially and culturally relevant genres of music in the music classroom. To date they have taught clinics in over 200 schools throughout the US, and also present on their research and methodologies to teachers at many music education professional development conferences.

This Billboard-chart topping instrumental duo released their first live album in July. It is the band's fifth full-length album and features six original songs, two traditional fiddle tunes, and four cover songs including Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” and Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit.”

In advance of their performance at Midland Center for the Arts on Sunday, August 21st, The REVIEW caught up with this intrepid musical duo to discuss how they developed their unique musical vision and the challenges involved with carving out fresh musical territory.

REVIEW: To kick things off, how did the two of you develop an interest in music and when  did you decide you wanted to pursue it as your life’s vocation?

Diana Ladio: Ali and I went to different towns and didn't meet until college, but you could say that both of us were natural performers from a young age. We both had many other interests but ultimately we decided (independently) that we wanted to go to music school. At that point it was almost exclusively classical music, so I think it's safe to say we weren't exactly sure what our lives in music were going to look like, but we knew music was meant to be our careers.

REVIEW: How did the two of you meet and what was the genesis behind the vision and goals that you envisioned when deciding to form The Moxie Strings?

Diana: We met as camp counselors at a music camp in Southeast Michigan. Mutual friends said we had similar personalities and would be a good fit and the rest is history. We say the band started the day we met 16-years ago.  We had absolutely no vision for the future, which is part of what I credit to our many successful years. We knew we loved playing music together so that's what we did. The rest unfolded very organically. We started busking for tips, then playing the occasional coffee shop and pub, then slowly the stages got bigger. We were thrilled to eventually be able to leave our "real jobs" and make this our profession. 

REVIEW: There’s a lot of blending that goes on in all genres of popular music nowadays, so what do you feel most distinguishes the sound of The Moxie Strings?

Diana: Our sound is a great example of genre-blending. You can hear our classical degrees in every aspect of our playing, but also a strong Celtic influence, as that was our first stop after the orchestra world. We still play quite a bit of Irish music and spend our summers playing many Irish-themed festivals. We have since experimented in bluegrass, rock, and added full pedalboards which allow for many sounds and textures. Most of our show is original, with the occasional fiddle tune and rock cover thrown in. 

REVIEW: What and who are some of the influences that most informed your musical sensibilities?

Alison Lynn: We are inspired by so many people!  Of course our classical roots are influenced by the “greats”.  We are influenced by everybody and anybody.  The Moxie Strings pull sounds from every genre - you can hear a little Metallica mixed with a Bach Suite in any of our songs.

REVIEW: What is the most challenging component involved with evolving your sound and cultivating your music as you create new material moving forward? 

Alison: It’s a different world we live in.  We are trying to stay as current as possible.  We love to keep up with current trends in music and feel like we can incorporate that into our live show.  It has certainly been a difficult year to “write” new music in, but our show is changing constantly!

The Moxie Strings will appear at Midland Center for the Arts on Sunday, August 21st at 6:30 PM. Tickets are only $18.00 and can be purchased by visiting


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