Candice Nokes and Mark Truesdell have been creating music together as "The Spirals" since 2000. At a Spirals' show, you'll hear soulful and organic original songs peppered with covers ranging from Yoko Ono to the Indigo Girls, Johnny Cash to Sun Ra and Italian Arias to shockingly interpreted "rock classics."
Before the Spirals, Candice concentrated on solo performance - rounded out with stints in The Lost Pioneers and even with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. She studied voice from ages 11 through 21, and toured Europe twice as part of select choirs in high school and college. She asked for and studied guitar beginning at age 8. Candice invested her first summer as a guitar instructor and band coach at Girls Rock Camp in Madison in June 2011. Investing musical and self confidence building time with girls ages 8 - 18 brings both of Candice's passions together at one time.
Candice has written songs for herself since age 9. She did not tend to play for outside audiences too much until she discovered confidence and inspiration from the talent and musicianship of the Indigo Girls in the early 1990's. She began to play at open mics, and eventually a variety of coffeehouses and benefits in the Milwaukee area. Solo performances at smaller stages for Summerfest and the Indian Summer Festival were given as well. The Spirals plus Carl Raven = Candice Nokes and the Ravin' True, a trio of blues / rock / indie rock genres. They have been enjoying main stage performances at the Indian Summer Festival in recent years.
Candice's song, "A Whole Long While," was a 2010 finalist in the Blues Category of the Indian Summer Music Awards competition in Milwaukee, WI. Recorded with Mark Truesdell and the Lost Pioneers in 1997 at Walls Have Ears Studio, Milwaukee, WI, it started out as a poem.
"Trapped," a 2011 rock remake of a 1991 acoustic Nokes composition, was recorded by Candice, Mark, and percussionist, Carl Raven. Trapped was a 2011 finalist in the Pop Category of the Indian Summer Music Awards, Milwaukee, WI.
In addition to the Indigo Girls, Candice's influences include Paul Simon, Steve Perry, Sinead O'Connor, Tony Orlando, Ella Fitzgerald, Lucille Nokes (her grandmother), early Beatles, Roberta Flack, Hildegard Von Bingen, Suzanne Vega, Diana Krall, and KT Tunstall.
Mark has kicked around the Milwaukee band scene for years in various groups including: John the Conqueroo, FS Camels, The Dellmann Trio, Mark Truesdell & The Lost Pioneers, Nucklehead, Truesdell & Rautmann, DTP and local legends - The 40 oz Kings.
Mark Truesdell and the Lost Pioneers were featured at Summerfest as the winners of VH1's Local Hometown Heroes Contest in 1997.
Most recently, Mark invented the musical instrument, the Rotella Cosmica, which is one of the featured instruments in the Once Now Ensemble, an improvisational group who originally developed under Hal Rammel's direction during an Alternating Currents Live Workshop at Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI. http://www.oncenowensemble.com/
Mark is also a member of the Dumb Terminal Project, Milwaukee, WI. http://www.dumbterminalproject.com/
Acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, harmonica, accordion, keyboard, bass, drums and the Rotella Cosmica are a few of the instruments that Marks calls on during his musical performances.
Mark's influences include Sun Ra, The Doors, The Clash, Little Walter, Johnny Cash, Todd Rundgren, Grace Jones, Billy Bragg, Marshall Crenshaw, JJ Cale, Kraftwerk, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Pharoah Sanders, and Tab Benoit.
The Spirals have been married for over a decade and between shows enjoy sharing their home with two cats and an expanding garden.
If all goes according to plan, someday you'll hear the Spirals playing at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy with a hit single produced by Todd Rundgren under their belts.
Carl Raven – Percussionist
Carl -- drummer, bass guitarist, accordionist, and saxophonist-- has worked with a variety of mostly Milwaukee based bands as a performer, arranger, and composer for over fifty years. Carl was leader, bass guitarist, and lead vocalist in his own group, the Del Reys, which evolved into a popular Wisconsin area rock band, performing at major venues, and at that time on all four of the major local T.V. stations through the early 60's. Carl played bass guitar with the Robbs, with whom he had several national record releases on Mercury and Atlantic Records, the most well known being "Race With the Wind," and another, "I Don't Feel Alone," a recording with renowned guitarist James Burton, who had served as Elvis Presley's lead guitarist during his final ten years, and also before that with Ricky Nelson.
In high school (MUHS), Carl served as their big jazz band's drummer, and freelanced on drums in various jazz groups through his college years. Since the early 90's, Carl has focused on percussion study and performance in jazz and its related African and African-Hispanic heritage. He has attended workshops with internationally acclaimed drummers Max Roach and Joe Morello.
Carl has performed as a freelance drummer in the Milwaukee area with various local straight-ahead jazz groups led by John Hefter, Rick Santiago, and the late Kenny Danish. Carl has been leader of his own mainstream group, The Carl Raven Jazz Collective.
In 2004, Carl joined with saxophonist and clarinetist Frank Marquardt to form Collective Neurosis, a freeform jazz-based improvisational band, which later grew into its present quartet status with trumpeter Rob Schoenecker and cellist Henry Steinfort. With Collective Neurosis still searching for its first major CD album release, Collective Neurosis has enjoyed the distinction of having had its original recorded pieces, at this writing in the sixties in number, played on WMSE, 91.7FM, airing on "Dr. Sushi's Free Jazz Barbecue" show and a performance on "Local-Live." Carl also performs as drummer with Once Now Ensemble, a group playing spontaneously improvised music.