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A Brief History of Ida:

Ida come from NYC, and they formed originally as a duo between Dan Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell. The name of the band came from Ida Machado Schafer, the grandmother of Liz's old friend, artist/playwrite Erin Courtney. Ida was a 92 year old lady when Dan and Liz formed their group, and she was known to tell some of the best stories this side of the Mississipi.

Ida's sound has been continually changing. Early Ida sounds like folk infused with rock, with a lot of guitar strumming, emotional lyrics and vocals. The vocals have always been either Dan or Liz singing, or both of them together creating some of the most touching boy-girl harmonies ever heard. Later Ida also has that type of singing and lyrics, but the instrumentation is different... they use a lot of pianos and violins and cellos as well as acoustic guitars.

In 1994 they recorded Tales of Brave Ida, an album of sparse folk/rock songs with lyrics that are so simple yet so true. Only one song had drums. Soon after recording the album, Dan's brother Micheal Littleton joined the band playing drums. His addition was crucial -- the drumming on their next album I Know About You made the album a huge improvement over Tales of Brave Ida (which wasn't bad to begin with).

I Know About You was recorded in January 1996. Later that year Karla Schickele (from the band Beekeeper) joined the band as the bassist. Their next album Ten Small Paces was recorded in 1997 and consisted of a bunch of new songs and cover songs recorded on the road and while touring. Karla wrote two songs for this album, both quite different from Ida's previous songs, but they complimented and worked exceptionally well.

In 98, Dan and Micheal's father died. Losing True was dedicated to their father, an EP that marks Ida's most experimental effort to date. Also in that year they recorded The Ida Retsin Family, a collaboration with the band Retsin. This was also when Liz and Dan recorded a children's album called You Are My Flower.

In late 98, Ida signed on to Capitol Records (previously they were on Jenny Toomey's Simple Machines label). They recorded their major label debut, but Capitol being the idiots they were didn't do ANYTHING. They completed the album in May 1999, and wasn't released until Summer of 2000 (under a different label: Tigerstyle). They spent a year just trying to break free of their contract with Capitol.

It turns out that Capitol really screwed up: Will You Find Me is a beautiful and haunting album that most major label artists just hope to have recorded. While dealing with Capitol, Ida also recorded another full length album called The Braille Night that will be released late 2000 or early 2001. Ida also released a limited live album called Live at Carnegie Hall.

Micheal left the band in the fall of 99 to pursue his own music thing.

Who's In Ida
Current Members:
  Dan Littleton
Elizabeth Mitchell
Karla Schickele
Past Members:
  Micheal Littleton  
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