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This Folk Fest, two teens, two dads and one mentor will play in the newly formed band Safety Third on Tuesday night.
Safety Third: Gustavus band comes to Folk Fest 032917 AE 1 Capital City Weekly This Folk Fest, two teens, two dads and one mentor will play in the newly formed band Safety Third on Tuesday night.

Linnea Lentfer, Kim Heacox and Hank Lentfer of Safety Third. Not pictured: Catherine and Jamie Marks. Courtesy photo.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Story last updated at 3/28/2017 - 6:48 pm

Safety Third: Gustavus band comes to Folk Fest

This Folk Fest, two teens, two dads and one mentor will play in the newly formed band Safety Third on Tuesday night.

Linnea Lentfer, 13, met Catherine Marks, 15, at a music potluck while the Marks family was spending the summer in Gustavus. They began playing together as they practiced for open mic night at The Outpost, a venue for music in town.

“One thing that happens a lot in Gustavus … we get the opportunity to play music together around fires in the summertime or in living rooms during the wintertime,” Jamie Marks, Catherine’s father, said. “Over a long period of time these relationships develop. It doesn’t take a lot to then say ‘Why don’t we perform at Folk Fest together?’”

Linnea sings and plays keyboard as well as guitar and violin. She harmonizes with Catharine, who sings and plays violin, viola and guitar. Linnea has never played at Folk Fest before. Catherine has with her family when she was in elementary school and sang the state song “Alaska’s Flag”; she also plays in the Juneau Symphony.

“I really love performing, I just haven’t had much time,” Catherine said. “I’ve had a little bit of trouble putting a band together the last couple years so I was super excited when we decided to play this year.”

Joining the girls for the band would be Jamie, who also plays with Tramwreck, another Folk Fest band; Hank Lentfer, Linnea’s father; and Kim Heacox, a writer and occasional music teacher in Gustavus.

“I thought the tagline for our band should have been: ‘Two friends and three dads.’ Kim is more of an honorary dad. He is a mentor for a lot of young people in Gustavus,” Hank said.

Jamie echoed his comments on Heacox and said: “I grew up down south and one thing that I really notice about a venue like the Folk Festival is that it helps (young people) work on performing … They’re gaining skills that people around the country would want in terms of developing self-confidence and presenting themselves – speaking, artistically, whatever. I really appreciate the venue. I appreciate the community we have to participate, and the young people who participate and everybody who participates.”

The band is really an occasion for the girls to shine, Heacox said.

“I spent a lot of time working with Linnea on music and she’s been learning a lot about music theory,” Heacox said. “She has an electric keyboard in her home. She understands theory really well, so she can now map out harmony parts. Catherine has this beautiful lead music voice kind of like – it’s got some Tracy Chapman – and Linnea has got this really nice harmonizing voice … when you put the two voices together it’s pretty cool.”

Linnea and Catherine came up with the band name off the back of a t-shirt worn by Gustavus local Zach West Brown, which said “Looking good, feeling good, safety third.” Brown is working towards turning the Hobbit Hole on the Inian Islands into the Inian Islands Institute, a place of study for researchers and conservationists.

The band will play some modern rock opera based on the mythical Greek figure Orpheus from the album “Hades Town.”

“(The songs) are kind of unusual music but they’re really fun. I don’t think the audience will have heard it before,” Linnea said.

The rest of the lineup hasn’t been confirmed but the girls said covers of Ingrid Michaelson, Paul Simon and the Beatles are possibilities.

“We’ll just bring a bunch of instruments to Juneau and see what happens,” Linnea said with a laugh.

Safety Third will play on Tuesday, April 4 at 10:30 p.m. Tramwreck will play on Wednesday, April 5 at 8:30 p.m.