‘Historical fiction, Tex-Mex’ band performs at Steubenville bar

BY CATHERINE TROLL
STAFF WRITER

Around 40 people gathered at the Spot Bar in downtown Steubenville on Nov. 15 to enjoy the unique music style of Seasons and the Brothers Kaschak.

“By the time Seasons had finished their fourth song the crowd was on their feet dancing along,” shared band member Mary-Grace Lee. “They remained grooving on their feet … for a special finale with both bands playing a cover of the Gospel-tinged blues number ‘Morning Train’ by Precious Bryant where members of the audience were given various percussion instruments to join in.”

According to band member and Franciscan University of Steubenville student Mary-Teresa Lee, Seasons is an independent band comprised of five of the six Lee siblings. Seasons used to play traditional Celtic music, Mary-Teresa said. She then explained the unique genre they have now. “We laugh and say we’re kind of a historical fiction band,” she said. “A lot of our songs sound like they were written a hundred years ago. Kind of like a ballad.”

She added that Seasons, through a song called “The Tumbleweed,” has created a new genre they call “Tex-Mex.”

“It celebrates our Irish culture and love for Mexican food,” Mary-Teresa laughed.

Her sister Mary-Grace added, “The music of Seasons deals with everything from stories about everyday people to personal reflections on faith.”

Mary-Teresa said the band is called Seasons after the middle names of the Lee siblings. The five Lee siblings in the band are Mary-Kate Spring, 26; Peter Winter, 24; Mary-Teresa Summer, 22; Mary-Grace Autumn, 18; and Mary-Clare Chun, 14, who was adopted from China. Mary-Teresa said the Lee family knew instantly that Mary-Clare was one of them because her surname was already Lee and her name, Chun, is the Chinese word for Spring.

Mary-Teresa shared excitedly that the sixth and youngest Lee sibling, Luke-Joseph Winter, 13, is currently learning the cello, which will add to the wide assortment of instruments already used in the band. These include familiar instruments, such as the harp, vocals, penny whistle, guitar, mandolin, violin and fiddle. They also include less familiar instruments, such as the hammered dulcimer, which is like a set of piano strings played with a hammer; the bodhrán, an Irish drum; and bongers, which are used on a drum.

Seasons is a busy band, performing at weddings, shows and on tours. Seasons currently has five albums with another on the way.

Mary-Grace said that during the concert, which was sponsored by the Harmonium Project, Seasons played some new songs as well as old ones.

“Seasons played many songs off their upcoming, as of yet untitled, album which they plan to release in 2014,” she said. They also played songs off their 2008 album “Which Way to Dublin Town” including “The Helmsman,” a song based off the writings of Saint Faustina. The song can also be found on the official audio recording of the Diaries, released by Marian Press, Mary-Teresa said.

The co-songwriters of Seasons, Mary-Kate and Peter, are full-time musicians who graduated from Franciscan with bachelor degrees in English. Mary-Grace, who will be attending Franciscan in the spring, believes Seasons will perform again in Steubenville.

“The Harmonium Project was really excited with the turnout and performance of both bands,” she said. “Look for a return in 2014!”

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