A Fitting Tribute:

Songa Releases Music Video Honoring Vietnam War Veterans

‘Olive Branch’ was written by late Vietnam War vet Jim Brown

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A local folk outfit is extending an olive branch to military veterans who were never given their just due.

Dedicated to the memory of Jim “JR” Brown, Tom Shaw and all those who served in Vietnam.

Dig Deep

Sherry Lynn’s Dig Deep is a reflection of the pandemic of 2020 and the resilience that was born out of the losses, hardships and challenges we experienced. Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to keep moving forward. Peace to all.

"Under the Venus Moon"

Under the Venus Moon

Chippewa Falls man among top candidates for Best Jazz Album Grammy nomination.

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Newly released in August of 2021 by Stellar Sound, this is a collection of Mario Friedel’s songs arranged for big band jazz by Tom Washatka, featuring the legendary Wisconsin vocalist Janet Planet and a superb collaboration of musicians.

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Sunshine in the Rain

Songwriting was a lifeline for us during the pandemic of 2020; our way of finding hope through creativity during a time of introspection. A new sound evolved, along with a message of love and care for humanity. May you find sunshine in the rain.

John Hiatt

John Hiatt at the Pablo Center in Eau Claire, WI

“On the bus after the Eau Claire show Thursday night. A visit from my friend Mario Friedel and his wife, Sherry. Mario and I were band mates in the group, White Duck back in ‘71! Great to see you, brother. You haven’t changed a bit in 48 years!”

Meet Songa Trio

Come and enjoy an inspiring performance of original music with Songa. Singer/Songwriters and lifelong musicians Mario and Sherry Friedel will take you on a journey with their unique instrumental sound and soothing vocal blend. Joining the trio in 2023 is Catya, a musician skilled in multiple genres who has gigged from coast to coast. Multi-instrumentalists playing guitar, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, melodica and percussion, these artists will take you from folk to country, newgrass to blues to Latin jazz and back again. Rooted in the Nashville songwriting tradition, you won’t want to miss their honest lyrics and pure vocal harmonies. 

Songa’s newest EP, released in 2022, Sunshine in the Rain, includes songs of hope and resilience with a message of love. Their 2020 Nashville produced album, Dreams Are in the Making, shows Songa’s true Americana artistry, with authentic songs in the folk, blues and country genres. They perform as a duo, Sherry Lynn as a solo act, and Songa Trio along with Catya.

Songa Trio

Mario, originally from Fond du Lac, was produced and published by Buzz Cason, Creative Workshop Studio, Nashville, TN and signed to Universal Records in 1971 as a member of White Duck, Jimmy Buffet’s first Coral Reefer Band, along with legendary Americana artist John Hiatt. Mario has collaborated with Don Kloetzke, Janet Planet, Tom Washatka and Howard “Guitar” Luedke.

Sherry has been a music educator, performer, vocal arranger and songwriter for over 30 years. She has been a church music director in Wisconsin, Nashville, and Chicagoland. Her vocal stylings have been highly influenced by Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, and Emmylou Harris. She is a singer with Chorale a NouvEAU in Eau Claire and performs solo gigs in the Chippewa Valley as Sherry Lynn.

Catya wrote her first song at the age of eight and began performing  professionally while in her early 20s. Playing guitar, fiddle and mandolin, she has performed with some truly wonderful musicians, including Sue Orfield, Darrell Nulish, Kid Bangham, Howard “Guitar” Luedtke, David Jones & the Jones Tones, Joe T. Cook and the Longshots, Lucas Fischer, Nick Foytik, Randy Sinz, and Dan Zerr. Her own bands included Code Blue; Feral Cats; and Catya’s Trio. Songa Trio is happy to welcome Catya to the stage.

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