Anything is possible for Patchouli
On the cover of Patchouli's new album a pirate ship sails past a striped lighthouse. Tthe Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and cartoon castle fill out a hillside as the musical duo floats by in a heart-shaped hot air balloon.
The colorfully light-hearted artwork reiterates the record's title "Anything is Possible."
Patchouli's 12th album was just released and to celebrate-- the two return to the area to entertain.
See them play 7 p.m. Friday June 28 at Falconer Vineyards' summer Concert in the Vines.
Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli live locally but tour nationally, making this show one of the only summer concerts in the area while they tour the Midwest, New York and Canada.
Best known for folk, Hecksel and Patchouli have evolved their sound with "Anything is Possible."
"We did this record project as a whole," Hecksel said. "All the albums have a train of thought through them but this one we tried to push ourselves and try to do something that was a cohesive project with a real flow to it."
The flow and transitions from songs "Light of Day" to "Away We Go" can be heard from lyrically from her voice to the overall sound and talent of his guitar - the songs compel listeners to sing-along.
"It's very lyric driven with lots of melodic new styles of guitar and rhythms. For us it's essential as artists to capture that exciting and new energy on tape right away, then work from there to build the songs into the album," Patchouli explained.
"Instrumentally and with respect to arrangements, we got even a little broader. This CD leans toward acoustic rock, a turn away from tinges of folk," he said.
Whatever the genre is, there is one certainty. "Anything is Possible" oozes with playfulness - from album art to catchy melodies - and that is exactly what the duo hoped to do.
"Family is our target audience," Hecksel said. "We are definitely rated G to PG - our music is a celebration. The spirit of our music is about joy, happiness, inspiration and togetherness. We used to say for ages eight to 80, and it's really for eight months to 110."
Hecksel went on to say with the era of music we live in, categorizing music into genres is not necessary. People like good music as long as it reaches them somehow - from kids turning their parents onto songs they like or vice versa.
Both Hecksel and Patchouli studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and together are a songwriting powerhouse.
"We play 99.5 percent original music," he said.. "It is a never ending creative process. Nothing can top that -- at this point. We are proud of being able to use our skills - and inside that makes us the happiest."
Fifteen years of non-stop touring the country has honed this classically trained duo into well-known performers, playing over 2,500 shows and traveling over half a million miles. Patchouli plays a majority of outdoor shows. Think music-in-the-park type of concerts.
"Unbelievably it works," Hecksel said of their legendary touring schedule, "It takes an enormous amount of time. We love it, we stop everyday to go biking and it's a lifestyle. This doesn't feel like a job - I'm the eternal tourist and will do this forever, it is so rewarding."
"Anything is Possible" is available locally at KK's Simple Abundance in Red Wing, Adobe Gallery in Stockholm or by visiting the website www.patchouli.net.
Patchouli's intentions for their latest album could not be more obvious - anything is possible.
"You have within you the ability to create a whole different version of your future, of your reality, of your culture. There are processes that we have that allow people to look inside themselves, clear out the things that have been going on, step on a new clean platform, start over and imagine their best possible scenario," Hecksel said. "I feel like there are the tools in this album to inspire a person to do that."
If you go ...
When: 7 p.m. Friday June 28
Where: Falconer Vineyards
Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the door