Update: Knots on a String

If the stereotypical college band involves sweaty dudes with fuzzy garage acoustics and limited abilities, Macalester’s own Knots on a String is pretty much the exact opposite. Consisting of Rachel Mueller ’13, Leah Plummer ’13, Abby Colehour ’12, Natalie Locke ’11 and Ana Begej ’11, Knots on a String has been performing its distinct brand of West African-inspired folk fusion for about a year. In the past few weeks, they have played concerts at Dunn Brothers and Acadia Café, and audiences have been impressed not only by the group’s skills but also by their friendliness.

“They always let me play their instruments after show[s],” said Caroline Devany ‘13.

Speaking of musical tools, Knots on a String is a band with a whole lot of them. Begej pilots a massive string bass, Locke strums guitar, Colehour handles viola and fiddle duties, Mueller plays harmonica and gyil (a West African xylophone that some students may recognize from African Music Ensemble performances) and Plummer manipulates an impressive fleet of West African percussion instruments, including a particularly appropriate contraption consisting of two nuts on a string. On top of all that, each member contributes her own vocal flavor to the mix, resulting in an overall sound that is layered with melodic warmth but not alienating in its complexity.

Despite its talents, Knots on a String still faces a challenging hurdle in its future as a band: distance. With Locke eyeing a move back to her homeland of Portland, OR and Plummer and Mueller nearing graduation, the band’s future is unclear, though they intend to remain together in whatever capacity possible. Anyone wishing to see these self-proclaimed “lively ladies” perform must do so soon, while the band is still geographically unified. Knots on a String’s next live performance will be on Wednesday, March 20th at Harriet Brewing Company in Minneapolis. Other performances could materialize as well and a new album is in the works, so keep your eyes peeled on the Knots on a String Facebook page to stay up to date.