In the mood for the Mood Swings Band (with audio and video)

Kathi Bischoff, Jackie Freeman and Robin Cooper rehearse with the Mood Swings Band. 

<p dir=”ltr”><span>PROVIDENCE —  Five women between the ages of 53 and 65 meet weekly in a garage on the Providence east bench for a jam session, rehearsing for performances of the</span> <a href=”http://wk77.net/moodswingsband/index.html”><span>Mood Swings Band</span></a><span>. Their children and grandchildren think it’s “pretty cool” to have them play in a band, and their husbands support them 100 percent—especially Karen Campbell’s husband, Wayne. He’s the Mood Swings Band’s “sound guy.”</span>

<p dir=”ltr”>“There’s things that goes wrong. Strings break, batteries run out, we don’t know what’s wrong, and he always fixes it,” said Campbell.  “Always. He’s amazing.”

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<p dir=”ltr”>The Mood Swings Band is comprised of Campbell, her twin sister, Kathi Bischoff, and friends Jackie Freeman, Robin Cooper and Colleen Gordin, the band’s lead singer. The group books gigs at weddings, corporate and family parties, local markets and community events, catering performances to their audience’s preferences. They play music from the 1950s to the present in <a href=”http://wk77.net/moodswingsband/demos/demos.html” target=”_blank”>multiple genres</a>, including pop, rock and country.

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<p dir=”ltr”>“We also do some folk music. We like to do a bit of everything,” said Campbell, the band’s percussionist. “We just really like to have fun together. We’d like to get the word out there because we’d really like to play more.”

<p dir=”ltr”>Bischoff said the band’s style can best be described as “crazy wild.” She compliments her sister on playing a “real mean spoon set” and quipped that she picked up the bass guitar with no previous experience because she liked its color and thought it would be the easiest thing to play. While the Mood Swings Band appreciates paid performances, the musicians often donate their time to support worthy causes because their motivation transcends a tip jar.

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<p dir=”ltr”>“We’ll sing for food,” Bischoff joked. “We play for people to bring them joy, to make them feel happy, to help lift their spirit. When you hear music that speaks to your soul or is uplifting or just makes you feel good, you feel better for being there, and it just makes you happy.”

<p dir=”ltr”>Gordin agrees. She said the original music she composes for the band reflects her desire to connect with audiences on a personal level.

<p dir=”ltr”>“When I play, I really want to touch a heart that needs to be touched,” she said. “Every time I play, that’s my prayer because music can touch hearts in a way that words alone cannot.”

<p dir=”ltr”>Prior to forming the Mood Swings Band, Campbell, who picked up her first drum stick at age 45, spent a decade playing with her sister in a band called the “Hot Flashes.” One would never guess it by looking at them, but Campbell and Bischoff are both over 60 and often hear listeners tell them how inspiring it is to see women in midlife doing something so fun with so much energy. Freeman, the band’s newest member and keyboard artist, said she loves being part of the group because it’s a such a rewarding challenge.

<p dir=”ltr”>“I love that we work together to do it, and it’s a collaborative event,” she said. “It usually doesn’t take us very long to learn a song, but yet, if it does, we are willing to work hard at it, and I love that. I’m really learning a lot about being a musician from these ladies.”

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<p dir=”ltr”>Cooper agrees. The violin and mandolin are just two of the instruments she plays in the band, and she said she enjoys working with people who share her love for music.

<p dir=”ltr”>“The hardest thing for me,” she said, “is being brave, not only to sing in front of big crowds, but also just to trust yourself with your instrument, not having to have the music written out, just to hear it and go. That takes time, but it’s starting to come, and it feels really good. What makes it most rewarding is being with other people who love music, who are always positive and who appreciate it. When you can start a song and people just join in with the harmony and everything, it’s just easy, and that’s what makes it fun.”

<p dir=”ltr”>Whether it’s Campbell and Bischoff’s 88-year-old mother or Gordin’s youngest grandchildren, audiences of all ages respond positively to the Mood Swings Band. Gordin, whose many instruments include the guitar, banjo and harmonica, said she loves playing at farmers markets because of how “people are flowing with you and dancing.”

<p dir=”ltr”>“What better way to spend retirement?” she said. “This is the greatest retirement ever, to do what you want to do, form a band and go out and play!”

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<p dir=”ltr”><a href=”http://wk77.net/moodswingsband/gigs/gigs.html”><span id=”docs-internal-guid-64d93c7f-94dd-19c4-c6a8-3a07b1ea5ccf”>Upcoming performances</span></a> <span id=”docs-internal-guid-64d93c7f-94dd-19c4-c6a8-3a07b1ea5ccf”>of the Mood Swings Band include North Logan Villas on June 21, a Hyde Park City celebration on July 21, and the</span> <a href=”https://gardenersmarket.org/”><span id=”docs-internal-guid-64d93c7f-94dd-19c4-c6a8-3a07b1ea5ccf”>Logan Gardeners’ Market</span></a> <span id=”docs-internal-guid-64d93c7f-94dd-19c4-c6a8-3a07b1ea5ccf”>on Aug. 26. More information about the band, including event scheduling, is available at</span> <a href=”http://wk77.net/moodswingsband/index.html”><span id=”docs-internal-guid-64d93c7f-94dd-19c4-c6a8-3a07b1ea5ccf”>moodswingsband.com</span></a> <span id=”docs-internal-guid-64d93c7f-94dd-19c4-c6a8-3a07b1ea5ccf”>or by calling 435-753-6337.</span>

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