“I’m not normally a big Valentine’s Day fan,” admits Dan Bennett, Striking Copper’s electric guitarist. “I think the romance should last all year, but this Valentine’s Day is exciting.”
Still flying high from his Christmas engagement to Missy Boneske, executive director of local nonprofit Operation Pretty Things, the couple also make up folksy-soft rock collaboration Falling for Tuesday. While in the throes of planning their wedding, which is just weeks away, Falling for Tuesday is preparing for a Valentine’s date-night show at downtown’s The Loft.
“It’ll be intimate (only 20 couples) with limited space and appetizers,” Bennett details. “A real ‘date night’ experience, and all of the profits will go to Operation Pretty Things.”
“Playing on Valentine’s Day this year is special because it combines three of my favorite things: Daniel, music and Operation Pretty Things,” Boneske adds. “It’s one big night of love. Doesn’t get any better than that.”
Falling for Tuesday’s love story is simple and sweet: Boy meets barista in a coffee shop; boy sings for her and melts her heart; they fall in love and make beautiful music together. “Or something like that,” Boneske quips.
“Obviously, there is something other than GenX in our local water supply,” Bennett adds. “I feel like I’m surrounded by friends (especially in the music community) that are falling in love and getting engaged. For Falling for Tuesday, it’s hard to separate the love story from the music. The first night we hung out, Missy came to see me sit in [to play] guitar with Crystal Fussell (who is also engaged). The next night we sang together for the first time. The rest is history.”
“Dan is easy to write love songs for,” Boneske says. “I’m excited to spend the evening with my love, doing what we love and for a worthy cause.”
Aside from Falling for Tuesday’s February 14 show to benefit Operation Pretty Things—a year-round service program that collaborates with community partners and other nonprofits to support domestic violence shelters—Bennett’s Striking Copper crew has added some extra notes of romance to their music this year, too.
Made up of Bennett, John Stewart (bass), Matt Donnelly (vocals, guitar) and his wife Allie Donnelly (vocals), Striking Copper’s Jacquie Lee (vocals) is engaged with drummer Frank Cacciutto. Like Matt and Allie, who instantly gravitated toward each other, Jacquie and Frank met at an early age and reunited as a band.
“Frank and I went to the same high school together; he didn’t know I existed but I had a huge crush on him,” Jacquie recalls. “Years later we were looking for a new drummer for our band in New York. . . . He auditioned. It took about half a year from when he joined our band for Frank and I to make our relationship official, and we’ve been together ever since!”
Jacquie and Cacciutto’s Valentine’s celebrations are typically low-key evenings of takeout and movie marathons. This year, however, they’ll celebrate with what brought them together in the first place: music. Striking Copper will play at Bourgie Nights on Feb. 10, alongside Rebekah Todd’s electric duo with drummer Logan Tabor. Not to be left out, Todd and Tabor just got married on Feb. 3.
“Love is most certainly in the air,” Todd agrees. “The show at Bourgie will be our first show together as a married couple. . . . [The electric duo is] something like the White Stripes meets the Black Keys!”
They plan on sharing their latest material, as well as a few covers and original love songs. As for Striking Copper’s set, Donnelly promises to make the evening all about a “whole lotta love,” with both originals and covers, too.
Striking Copper have been working on songs for upcoming EPs and will play a few of them at Bourgie, including a single they’ll release this summer, “Running to You.” Starting with a riff he once shared with his Uncle Jim Oliver, also a singer-songwriter, Donnelly and Oliver began writing what became groundwork for “Running To You.”
“It went unfinished for years, and eventually I introduced it to the band,” Donnelly details. “We finished writing it and everyone put really great parts to it. I’m super proud of what it turned into! ‘Running To You’ is about holding onto something you love, keeping it with you through hard times, and realizing it’s still there waiting whenever you need it.”
As for Falling for Tuesday’s Valentine’s show at The Loft, lovers can expect tunes from their forthcoming live album and a few new tunes as well. They’ll include the first song they wrote together, “Tuesday,” which was meant to be included on their “No Parking” EP before they realized it didn’t fit.
“‘Tuesday’ is about how Missy fell in love with a homely construction worker that used to come in the coffee shop she worked at every Tuesday,” Bennett details.
“When we perform it live, we get to tell our story along with it,” Boneske adds. “And ‘Tuesday’ is on that live album, story and all.”