Like the circle of life or the death card in the tarot deck, an ending always means a beginning. Such was the case two years ago -- on the Zodiac Luxury Lounge's last night in business -- when five women combined musical forces under the name "Devanation" for the first time.
"We rocked a full house. It was very magical and fun," says percussionist Dena Aronson.
Devanation is Aronson (The Remedies), Holly Haebig (One Drum; Kirtan with Ragani; Harvey Taylor), Cherylann Kelly (Beautiful) and Jodi Miriah (a solo artist who recently released "Wings to Fly"). Irish musician and storyteller Celia Farran often sits in as a guest diva.
The members range in age from 26 to 52. Although it could be argued their youngest member is 7-month-old Aria, Miriah's daughter, who often shakes a set of keys or bangs on a tiny drum during rehearsals.
The group describes their music as earth- and people-centered music that's uplifting, inspiring, loving and conscious. "We've been told our music is like prayer in song," says Haebig. "It's like we have the same musical spirit."
All of the woman sing and take turns playing instruments, resulting in a primal-sounding, rhythm-happy collaboration adorned with variety and surprise. They also take turns writing songs.
"We all really love each other and are great friends. I really consider this group to be a blessing," says Miriah.
Although the group is energized through girl power, Devanation actually means "the male aspect of divinity" in Sanskrit. Interestingly, this makes perfect sense to the band.
"The band is all feminine energy, so the name helps to bring out the masculine energy, creating a whole experience," says Miriah.
Devanation plays a combination of original songs -- as well as covers by artists like Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and ex-pat Milwaukeeans Patty Griffin and Anna Fritz. With original tunes called "Dream Song," "Love is the Key" and "Vroom Vroom," it's highly doubtful anyone will leave a Devanation gig feeling bummed out.
Devanation presents the second annual "Diva Night" at Linnemann's, 1001 E. Locust St., on Saturday, April 15. Special guests include Ray Chi, David Blessum, Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle, belly dancers and more. This is a non-smoking show.
Devanation's Web site is devanation.com.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.