With a ukelele and jazz guitar in tow, the traveling Kansas City-based musical duo known as Victor & Penny stopped by Central Standard on Wednesday to talk with Gina Kaufmann — and to perform a few of their signature "antique pop" songs live for our listeners.
Victor & Penny is Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane. The two live, work and play together all over the country, in venues ranging from hipster clubs to remote country diners and libraries. They were on the road for 200 days last year, and have even started posting car videos online for friends, family and fans to enjoy. Car videos are exactly what they sound like: mini-performances recorded in a moving vehicle.
On "antique pop"
"We call it that because this is really the popular music from the turn of the last century. It's top 40 before there was top 40."
"When we first started we were talking to jazz clubs, trying to get gigs, and they would say 'well, we mostly just book jazz' and they wouldn't book us, so we decided pretty early on that we weren't a jazz group. Even though this is some of the earliest jazz."
On making a living as full-time musicians
"Sometimes that's a struggle to keep the music and the enthusiasm for the pure part of the art going while you're needing to monetize it ... that's an ongoing struggle for us."
"There's money out there, but it's at a different level and you have to work toward that, so there's a lot of poverty in between there. A lot of Ramen noodles."
- Erin McGrane, musician, Victor & Penny
- Jeff Freling, musician, Victor & Penny