• June 16, 2015
    http://www.dead.net/features/dead-covers-project-profiles/dead-covers-project-profiles-leah-aila
    Dead Covers Project Profiles: Leah & Aila

    Budding singer-songwriters Leah Tashman and Aila Rose Macri touched us with their sweetly sparse rendition of "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo." Find out what these friends from Fire Island are up to now and why they owe their gratefulness to Aila's dad.



    Who is playin' in the band?

    Aila Rose Macri and Leah Tashman

    Tell us a little bit about your musical backgrounds and how you formed.

    Leah: We both grew up on a little island by the Atlantic, called Fire Island. We became friends when we were children and grew up sharing our musical discoveries with one another. Before either of us had any real musical knowledge, we would run down the streets singing songs together. I found music at a darker time in my life and since then it has been my friend, my protector, and my liberator.

    Aila: I started playing piano and trumpet early in life and then gravitated towards playing string instruments; banjo, dulcimer, and ukulele. Playing stringed instruments enabled me to sing along. Leah and I would frequently meet up to harmonize on duets. Our relationship grew organically from our mutual love of bluegrass, folk, rock and of course, the Grateful Dead.

    Leah Tashman

    You chose to submit "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo" for your cover. How did you pick this tune? And your location for filming!

    Leah: We picked this tune because we both covered it separately and realized we could combine our individual versions into one. The location for filming was in my closet in my apartment in New York City.

    Aila: This song gave us a chance to reinterpret its delivery as a duo, playing to the strengths of our individual voices in creating a version that compliments our own original solo performances. It’s kind of funny that we were just playing around and decided to record this song on a whim, while sitting literally in Leah’s closet. Maybe if I knew people were going to see it, I would have smiled!

    Between the two of you, there's quite a collection of covers on the internet. Any plans to write original tunes - together or with others?

    Leah: We have written an original song together - "Far Across to Ocean Beach (to the tune of Reuben & Rachel)" - and we both write songs on our own.

    What's on tap for the rest of 2015?

    Leah: Keep converting my thoughts into song, and perform for faces friendly and new.

    Aila: As I just graduated college, I will be focusing on my move from the east coast to the northwest coast. Once settled, I hope to find another partner as wonderful as Leah, to explore new musical paths until we meet up again in the future.

    Aila Rose Macri

    Looking for more? Check out Leah's original song "Rum to Riches" here and Aila's Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's Cover here.

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Budding singer-songwriters Leah Tashman and Aila Rose Macri touched us with their sweetly sparse rendition of "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo." Find out what these friends from Fire Island are up to now and why they owe their gratefulness to Aila's dad.



Who is playin' in the band?

Aila Rose Macri and Leah Tashman

Tell us a little bit about your musical backgrounds and how you formed.

Leah: We both grew up on a little island by the Atlantic, called Fire Island. We became friends when we were children and grew up sharing our musical discoveries with one another. Before either of us had any real musical knowledge, we would run down the streets singing songs together. I found music at a darker time in my life and since then it has been my friend, my protector, and my liberator.

Aila: I started playing piano and trumpet early in life and then gravitated towards playing string instruments; banjo, dulcimer, and ukulele. Playing stringed instruments enabled me to sing along. Leah and I would frequently meet up to harmonize on duets. Our relationship grew organically from our mutual love of bluegrass, folk, rock and of course, the Grateful Dead.

Leah Tashman

You chose to submit "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo" for your cover. How did you pick this tune? And your location for filming!

Leah: We picked this tune because we both covered it separately and realized we could combine our individual versions into one. The location for filming was in my closet in my apartment in New York City.

Aila: This song gave us a chance to reinterpret its delivery as a duo, playing to the strengths of our individual voices in creating a version that compliments our own original solo performances. It’s kind of funny that we were just playing around and decided to record this song on a whim, while sitting literally in Leah’s closet. Maybe if I knew people were going to see it, I would have smiled!

Between the two of you, there's quite a collection of covers on the internet. Any plans to write original tunes - together or with others?

Leah: We have written an original song together - "Far Across to Ocean Beach (to the tune of Reuben & Rachel)" - and we both write songs on our own.

What's on tap for the rest of 2015?

Leah: Keep converting my thoughts into song, and perform for faces friendly and new.

Aila: As I just graduated college, I will be focusing on my move from the east coast to the northwest coast. Once settled, I hope to find another partner as wonderful as Leah, to explore new musical paths until we meet up again in the future.

Aila Rose Macri

Looking for more? Check out Leah's original song "Rum to Riches" here and Aila's Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's Cover here.

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Leah and Aila's Grateful Dead

First exposure to the Dead/first show:

Leah: I am unfortunately too young to have attended a Dead show but my first exposure to the Dead was as a child growing up on Fire Island. Aila's father actually was one of the first people to expose me to the Dead.

Aila: My dad started following the Dead in 1973 and had seen over 250 shows with Jerry. I had my first tie-dye when I was 6 months old and grew up listening to GD's music. Although I was 3 when Jerry died, I remember the whole family putting on our favorite dancing bear shirts and going to Jerry’s memorial in Central Park. My first chance to experience “live Dead” was when my Dad took me to see The Other Ones at Jones Beach on 7/17/11.

Favorite Dead song(s):

Leah: I am a sucker for "Viola Lee Blues" and "St. Stephen." But I also melt when I hear their rendition of "I

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this could be something big, good luck
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That was the best cover I've watched since dead.net started this! I thought you two should have won, whatever that means. Keep on singing and playing, ladies. You're very good. You'll make a lot of people happy by doing so. Peace and love, Marc
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  • castle17
    3 years 4 months ago
    mississippi half step
    That was the best cover I've watched since dead.net started this! I thought you two should have won, whatever that means. Keep on singing and playing, ladies. You're very good. You'll make a lot of people happy by doing so. Peace and love, Marc
  • zjman
    3 years 4 months ago
    make me dance
    this could be something big, good luck