The days are numbered for one of the Twin Cities' most popular roots bands. Roma di Luna, who started as a husband-and-wife duo playing folk songs at a farmer market six years ago and have since grown into a brassy, bluesy roots band, will end its impressive run before the year is up.
The band still has a few shows on the books this summer (including closing out one of the stages at the SoundTown music festival on Friday, August 19), but singer Channy Casselle says that a pair of farewell shows planned at the Cedar Cultural Center in December will be their last as a band.
"Roma di Luna is coming to an end," Channy told us simply and definitively. Both she and her Roma di Luna co-leader Alexei Moon Casselle have already started up separate projects in anticipation of the group's unraveling.
Channy has been posting a weekly series of solo demos to her new Twitter account, @channeylchanny, which are spare, heartbreaking meanderings that she calls "solo ramblings" (listen to one of the demos, "Remind Me," here). "The new songs I'm writing are homeless for now but will find some place to go eventually," she says. Channy is also in the midst of a new recording project with Ryan Olson, which she says is "very different from those demos or really anything I've ever done," and says she expects the record to be out this fall.
Alexei, a.k.a. Crescent Moon, will continue working with his hip-hop group Kill the Vultures, and is also part of a new improvisational collective called Coloring Time that boasts a laundry list of local rap, rock, and jazz musicians like Peter Pisano, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Martin Dosh, JT Bates, and Joe Horton. Coloring Time will make their debut at the Cedar on Thursday, August 11.
Over the years, Roma di Luna has received many warm accolades, both in their hometown and nationally. Just this year, the group was named Best Folk Artist in our Best of the Twin Cities issue, and Channy was also named Best Female Vocalist.