The Norman Transcript

Sound Advice by Doug Hill

January 20, 2014

Anne and Pete Sibley set to charm Winter Wind

“Seems like our appetite to bring joy to the world through our music is only growing.”

That’s a selection from Anne and Pete Sibley’s blog posted at their professional musician website. It’s typical of other writings there that express a sense of gratitude, hope, wonderment at sustained good fortune, peace, contentment and happiness. The singer/songwriter duo is coming to Norman and intends to share all that goodness in a Winter Wind performance Sunday evening.

The Sibley pair are beautiful, talented, have two adorable young children and a seemingly never-ending reserve of optimism. When asked if they don’t appear to be just a little too perfect, Pete Sibley paused to clear the carrot from his mouth while helping his son finish lunch. He was speaking by phone from a home overlooking California’s Monterey Bay that a benefactor has provided them.

“We get that a lot,” Sibley said with a chuckle. “Like secretly Anne and I might always be bickering.”

As if bickering between a married couple was a dreadful and uncommon shame. Who are these people? The biography also at their website reveals little, it’s actually more about you learning to be all you can be. Sibley shows are thus described: “An experience which they hope will call each person to awaken their own simple joyful melody within themselves.”

Sibley elaborated on who they are and what their folk music mission is.

“I feel like right now Anne and I are totally blessed to have the opportunity to play music,” he said. “It has come from the ability to sing songs as a husband and wife duo. We’ve been told our harmonies are top notch and they evoke a lot of emotion in the people hearing them.”

The Sibleys are continuing an American folk music tradition that goes back arguably for centuries. About half the material they perform is original.

“I feel we’re bringing something that’s really authentic,” he said. “We’re fortunate to be able to perform at a certain level of musicianship. It’s exciting because this is the first time we get to come through Oklahoma.”

The duo is pals with Red Molly who played Winter Wind late last year and received a thumbs-up about Norman from them.

“They said we’d have a lot of fun and would be well taken care of,” Sibley said.

Anne and Pete grew up in Connecticut where they sang in choirs. As a young married couple they moved to Wyoming and bought a home. Then with an infant son and toddler daughter they hit the road as traveling troubadours in a Subaru.

“There was a music community in Jackson Hole that supported our music career where we could have stayed for a wonderful life or we could say ‘yes’ to a larger adventure,” Sibley said. “We sold our house and everything we owned and lined up a year of tour dates.”

They visited 30 different states, stayed in hotels occasionally and friendly folks’ homes mostly. Everywhere they went the Sibleys found support for what they had undertaken.

“It was a really cool take-way, Doug. It has changed my entire outlook on the human condition,” he said. “People at their core are good and we got to experience that first hand.”

On multiple occasions he found himself in random parking lots as the shadows lengthened and having no idea where he’d be taking his little nuclear family that evening.

“Then a phone call would go out or come in and someone would open their home to us or help us in some way,” he said. “It comes from others believing in what’s passionate inside us.”

Not surprisingly Sibley described the recital we can expect at Winter Wind as one that will leave us feeling good.

“It’s hopeful and has a nice peaceful message,” he said. “We play guitar and banjo, mixing it between traditional Americana music and fun banjo-ey mountain music.”

It wasn’t delivered as a warning but be advised that Sibley did state that he really lets loose on the banjo.

“Folks can expect to hear a lot of great singing because that’s what we love to do,” he said. “Some people have actually told us that after hearing our show it makes them want to be a better person. We’re not exactly sure what that means but we take it as a compliment.”

Tickets to this show sound like the perfect gift for those in our lives who need to be better people.

If You Go

What: Anne and Pete Sibley in concert as part of the Winter Wind series.

Where: Norman Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave.

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 26

Cost: $15

Anne and Pete Sibley sing as pretty as they look.


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Sound Advice by Doug Hill