The Local 913: The Stapletons
The Stapletons are Kate and Casey Stapleton – a married couple that bring together two totally different backgrounds.
“My musical background was a lot more classical. I grew up in a huge family; I’m the oldest of nine kids. It was sort of more gather around the piano with a lot of Celtic music. My family is really Irish-American. My husband is from LA, a totally different universe. His mother is from Mexico. His first guitar was this classical hand-made guitar his uncle got for lawyer fees. He grew up on the ocean in California. I feel like he’s sort of suffused with this reverby Beach Boys feel with a totally different kind of music. He also spent time in a monastery where he was singing Gregorian chants all day and night. He’s always really insistent on reverb. I think he’s just drenched in this echoing sound.”
The two worked on separate projects before they were married: Kate playing her harp at weddings, classical and celtic gigs while Casey was drawn to Pittsburgh’s blues scene. After having three kids, the two finally got it together one morning to play together.
Having a harp in a non-traditional setting is not something usually done, but The Stapletons’ approach makes it work.
“Casey does a lot of the arrangements for the harp. They are always things I would not ever play on the harp, which lends a whole different aspect to the sound. He’s approaching the harp more like a guitarist or composer. He’s like “No you’re gonna play on the off-beat.” And he’s creating these interesting different rhythmic pieces or a Led Zeppelin riff on the harp that I would never come up with in a thousand years because I’m playing the harp like a harpist. I think that’s part of what creates the interesting aspect of our sound.”
Photo by Christina Pankus.