Back in 2018, as David Huckfelt warmed up for his first concert at Lakewood’s historic Memorial Chapel, he took in the words circling the dome. Written in mosaic tiles — gold fused with silver and marble merged with glass — they read Until the day break and the shadows flee away. David grabbed his notebook and jotted down the verse from Song of Solomon, thinking I want to make music as the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
Lakewood’s Memorial Chapel
Beyond the stunning aesthetics, Lakewood’s Chapel holds special significance for David, who performed his first concert as a solo artist here after many years with his group, The Pines. When David kicks off Lakewood’s 2022 Music in the Chapel series on Sunday, April 3, he’ll return to his collaborative roots with frequent musical partner, Annie Humphrey.
Before the upcoming concert, David sat for an interview to talk about his music, his friendship with Annie, and the myriad ways the world has changed since his last Lakewood performance.
“Annie and I became fast friends around how we use music to open people’s hearts in the way words can open people’s minds.” This friendship has been especially important to David in the last couple of years through the pandemic when many musicians holed up, making solo recordings in their homes. David says, “For me, toiling away on my own could get pretty dark. I needed some dynamite to blast those holes open.” When he explains how he gets energized playing music with friends, he means both collaboration with other musicians like Annie, but also audiences.
Last August, David and Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist, economist, and author, planned the Water is Life Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. “I think everybody who came out felt completely recharged,” David says. “The crowd celebrated their love and concern for the water and the land. We celebrated life on earth.”
Celebrating Life with New Music
Part of celebrating life is all the new music David has written. “Beyond my latest record, there’s other new material including a song about my son.” David became a dad in March of 2020. “And Annie’s always writing. She wrote a beautiful song about her dad, who passed away last year.”
Through Annie, Winona and many other friends and mentors, David has studied the Indigenous view of death. “Going from this physical world to the spirit world shouldn’t be something we’re so afraid of,” he says. “I do understand grieving and we’ve lost so much in these last two years. But it’s also okay to celebrate life.”
Which brings him back to his upcoming concert at Lakewood. “I’ve played music in a lot of spots,” David says, “like the corner of a convention center or the basement of a church. And music is powerful enough to sanctify some pretty rugged spaces, but you have to work to get close enough to the spark so that music elevates the space. When you walk into Lakewood’s chapel, it’s hallowed ground. As soon you step inside, you already have an elevated consciousness. That’s how Lakewood feels. It just feels right to play music in this space.”
Tickets are available now to see David Huckfelt and Annie Humphrey on Sunday, April 3.
Music in the Chapel Series Tickets
Concerts run monthly on Sunday afternoons from 3 to 4 pm in Lakewood’s historic 1910-built chapel. Enjoy a variety of local musicians from vocal groups like The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus to the acoustic duo Siama’s Congo Roots, along with folk, classical, and jazz artists. See the full music series schedule and reserve your tickets for upcoming concerts.