By their own definition, the musical group Chasing Clarence is "prone to wander into uncharted sonic territory."
Their "territory" is an eclectic blend of jazz, folk, Indie and pop, appealing to a broad age range and diverse demographics, including Nashville music producers.
Chasing Clarence began as musician/composer Eric Bervig's basement recording project in 2009. "A great learning experience," he said.
Soon, a duet formed, Ezra Overly adding rhythm via drums and percussion.
Then, along came Phoebe Mathius, a Bemidji State University student from Malaysia. The television-journalist-in-training engaged the musicians for a final class project. She subsequently began singing along, her "phenomenal voice" blending well with Bervig's.
The keyboard player and percussionist was invited to join Overly and Bervig for a Pregnancy Resource Center benefit in Park Rapids. A trio emerged.
"When Phoebe joined us, she totally changed the dynamics," Bervig said. "She added so much. Her main instrument is voice. A guy and guitar can only do so much..."
Friday, Dec. 14, their destination will be Bella Caffé where, from 7 to 9 p.m., they will introduce music from their about-to-be released CD, "All My Life."
Bervig wrote most of the songs/"skeletons," Mathias responsible for one, co-writing another.
Then the group "came together to arrange them," in true folk artist tradition. The idea to harness "their tenacious blend of vocal harmony and acoustical wittiness" via CD began to gel in 2011, the music going through an evolutionary process of refinement.
They were headed to Oklahoma City in May to record eight of the 12 songs on the CD. Three of Bervig's children, Lael, 11, Nathaniel, 9, and Elias, 7, sing in "High Above the Clouds."
"It's solid," Overly said. "All things come together for a great piece of art."
The name, Chasing Clarence, originates from Bervig's great-grandfather, Clarence. "An amazing man, a Lutheran evangelist who loved God." He died when Bervig was 5, but the "great carpenter and minister" had a "profound impact" on Bervig's father, and subsequently his fourth generation family member.
All My Life will be available at Beagle Books and will be nationally released Dec. 18 on iTunes and Amazon.
Next on the docket - meeting with Nashville producers.
"We're very excited," Overly said. "To make a project with people of that caliber is a rare opportunity."
"If you put your trust in God," Bervig said, "all things are possible."