Minnesota singer-songwriter featured in Goldfinch on the Lawn concert Tuesday in Ames
The Goldfinch Room songwriter showcase series has featured Iowa musicians since it started in January of 2019, and last summer the performances moved outside from the lower-level listening room venue inside Stephens.
But this year, thanks to a $1,500 Community Grant Award from the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, Stephens Auditorium added three shows to this season’s Goldfinch on the Lawn series; those shows will feature Midwest artists from outside Iowa.
“Since our Goldfinch Room opened, we have been receiving inquiries from out-of-state artists, and it’s a pleasure to be able to invite them to Ames and our stage,” said Tammy Koolbeck, executive director of Stephens Auditorium.
Knott is an award-winning singer-songwriter and educator, who has been performing since she was 8 years old. Her music is an eclectic collection of various genres.
“My show tends to wander in and out of style,” Knott said. “So I’ll have moments when I’m playing my guitar, but it sounds like I’m playing a ukulele.
“Also I have jazz influences, and I’ve written songs in the style of old-time standards.”
During the pandemic, several musicians hired Knott, who is also a tech expert, to run their livestream performances.
“I got to be up-close and personal with those artists. I think my show is more eclectic partially because of connecting with those artists across the music spectrum — some of them more pop, some of them more folk, some of them more jazz,” Knott said.
Knott was also influenced by the five years she lived on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, prior to the pandemic to help a friend launch a chocolate-making business. During her time on Kauai, Knott played and sang resorts.
“I think Hawaii brought spaciousness into some of the things I’m writing,” she said.
Knott learned about traditional slack key music while she was in Hawaii, “which is all about healing and coming together and finding peace. … There’s a lot of really warm, open, soothing sounds — happy sort of sounds.”
Prior to living in Hawaii, Knott hadn’t played much country music, even though she enjoyed it, she said. She was hired by the island’s only country band and wound up playing a lot of country and bluegrass as the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitar.
“My performance in Ames will be genre-bending — all through the acoustic-pop-feel good realm, but it will pass through Hawaii happy into a little bit of jazz, a little country tinge. The through line is story and also healing — the human condition and how can we help each other and heal and come together.”
Tickets are $10 at the door and concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. in June and July, and 5:30 p.m. in September.
Doors will open about 30 minutes before showtime. Attendees may bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages.
"It’s a great atmosphere for live music," Koolbeck said. "Audience members bring their own lawn chairs or blankets and can enjoy great food from The Traveling Pig food truck and cold beverages from the bar."