Leo & the Lark: Tionesta Native Making Waves in Colorado with New Band

| December 2, 2019

IMG_0738CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – When Clarion County native Michael Edmiston played in the North Clarion High School marching band, he played the drums. Now, his instrument of choice is a cajón.

(PICTURED ABOVE: Michael Edmiston and Kiera Lynn: Leo and The Lark.)

A cajón is a box-shaped percussion instrument that resembles a large speaker.

Edmiston and Kiera Lynn, the duo known as Leo & the Lark, are currently producing their first album (yes, they still call it an album).

If you knew Edmiston during his high school days, then you were likely hanging out near the river, playing music.

Edmiston has been playing the cajón since he first encountered it about 10 years ago. He realizes his choice of instrument can confuse people. The cajón he uses is rectangular in shape; there is no need for a stool as he sits on top and uses his hands to play it.

“I started playing drums in the high school marching band,” he explained. “I eventually really got into all kinds of hand percussion. The cajón is kinda just ‘my thing.’ One of the best things is having people approach me at our shows with questions on my drum.”

Edmiston met Lynn at an open mic night in Manitou Springs, Colorado, where he now lives. It wasn’t long before they found themselves on stage together almost constantly.

“We both played with multiple groups, but after awhile, we started mainly focusing on the duo revolving around all of Kiera’s original music. Thus, dawning Leo And The Lark.”

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Ask Edmiston what kind of music he plays on the cajón, and he will tell you it’s folk/funk – or maybe folk/soul-pop. No matter what you call it, it’s varied.

Leo and The Lark’s album, titled Inveiglement, feature songs written by Lynn. The duo anticipate its release in January.

“(Inveiglement) is another word for entrapment, to get stuck,” Lynn explained.

“It’s a lot of my older work that we’ve performed and perfected for years, and most of the songs circle around a similar theme of wanting to get out, go adventure, travel off the beaten path.”

Lynn said writing is cathartic for her, and often her songs come from a place of pain or frustration.

“I write about subjects that I want people to listen to and think about. How to maneuver through the aches of life and love, the questions we all have about our places in the universe, and the best way to be a good human being.

“I think we all struggle with these things, and music is a good way to share those relatable experiences.”

Working in the music world can be difficult, and the hours are not what you would call traditional.

Edmiston and Lynn have performed on the street, as well as in clubs and even for a local television show.

“For me, it’s still so surreal and hard to imagine that I perform music for people to enjoy,” said Edmiston. “It’s taken a lot of work and dedication, but it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

“The relationships I’ve built with other musicians and fans are second to none. The music scene here in Manitou Springs has given me more than I could ask for!”

What will the future hold for the duo?

“Travel!” Lynn speculated. “We both have that wanderlust bug. We’re looking to release the album, keep playing in the greater Colorado area around the state, and we’re planning a tour for later next year. Stay tuned!”

For more information, follow Leo and the Lark on Facebook.

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