ARAS is made up of two talented singer-songwriter-instrumentalists, Adrien Reju and Andy Stack. The former’s most recent CD is “Strange Love & The Secret Language”; while the latter’s group, a trio called Buffalo Stack, most recently released a 2014 self-titled CD.

In a recent telephone interview from their home in Newburgh, New York, Reju talked about the duo’s upcoming gig on Feb. 19 at Slates in Hallowell and what’s happening in her life. I began by asking if the two of them will do separate sets or will do everything together.

Reju: Well, we’ll play everything with each other, but some of them might be him singing lead, some of them might be me singing lead, and some of them might be duets. It’s going to be a mixture of that kind of thing. His material, my material and stuff that we’ve done together.

Q: Is there going to be an album with the two of you together?

Reju: He’s making a new Buffalo Stack record right now and we’re talking about doing a duo record, as well; but right now we’re just focusing on his Buffalo Stack’s record, which I’m on and a couple of my songs will be on there, as well.

Q: That’s cool. Will this show be acoustic or will it be electrified?


Reju: He may play electric guitar. I normally just play acoustic guitar and mandolin, and sometimes mandola, which is a newer instrument for me. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. It will be pretty much acoustic, though, yeah.

Q: Has Andy ever played Slates before?

Reju: Yeah, he played with me the last time. I played there last year. I think it was January, or maybe it was two years ago. I can’t remember exactly.

Q: Are you a regular performer there?

Reju: This will be my third time.

Q: As far as your solo recordings go, when did “Strange Love” come out?


Reju: It came out in August of 2016, a few years ago.

Q: And are you working on something new?

Reju: Yeah, I’m in sort of a writing phase right now, new material; but we’ve been focusing a lot on duo stuff lately, so that’s our current focus.

Q: Are you a prolific writer, or is it something you have to work at doing?

Reju: Ah, I have moments of being prolific and moments of just want to marinate, so to speak. I actually have a lot of songs that haven’t been recorded, but I also enjoy interpreting other people’s songs. It’s a fun way to get outside of my own head and to be in someone else’s head and do something a little different.

Q: Well, that’s what happens on the very first track on “Strange Love” — a cover of David Bowie’s “Soul Love.” I’m sitting there going, “Gosh, I know this song, but I don’t know this song!” You definitely made it your own.


Reju: Well, thanks!

Q: Now back to your upcoming show. What can people expect that night from the two of you?

Reju: Um, just a convergence of both Andy’s and my material. We’re two artists who have found a kindred spirit in terms of music and songwriting and stuff. So we’re just going to play some stuff that we really enjoy playing together, and we don’t have anything recorded right now, so it might be a mix of old stuff of mine and old stuff of his, but also some very new stuff that hasn’t been recorded yet.

Q: That gives the people who have seen you two before a chance to hear something new.

Reju: Yes.

Q: Is there anything you’d like me to pass on to the folks reading this article?


Reju: The thing that I feel is important, especially now in this political/social climate that we’re in right now, is the need for community and expression. And also appreciation and enjoyment of that expression, and the more feedback that we get, the easier it is to give back. We just went on a tour and played to audiences who didn’t show appreciation until the very end, which is great that they enjoyed it, but I really even more enjoy it when people show how much they enjoy it throughout a performance. I know it’s up to us to break the ice, but once we break that ice, it’s nice to have a mutual feedback loop of joy.

Q: Well, the more you give to them, the more they give back to you. I’ve always called that a “closed tape-loop,” because it feeds upon itself.

Reju: Right, yeah.

Q: How do you find the audiences at Slates?

Reju: You know, the audiences have been really great. The feedback has been pretty good. I just want to encourage it to continue that way.

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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