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The Spirals: Bio

Candice Nokes and Mark Truesdell have been creating music together as "The Spirals" since 2000. At a Spirals' show, you'll hear soulful and organic original songs peppered with covers ranging from Yoko Ono to the Indigo Girls, Johnny Cash to Sun Ra and Italian Arias to shockingly interpreted "rock classics."

Before the Spirals, Candice concentrated on solo performance - rounded out with stints in The Lost Pioneers and the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. She studied voice from ages 11 through 21, and toured Europe twice as part of select choirs in high school and college. She asked for a guitar at age 8, and wrote her first song at age 9. Candice invested her first summer as a guitar instructor and band coach at Girls Rock Camp in Madison in June 2011. Investing musical and self confidence building time with girls ages 8 - 18 brings both of Candice's passions together at one time.

Candice has written songs for herself since she was a kid, but did not tend to play for outside audiences too much until she discovered confidence and inspiration from the talent and musicianship of the Indigo Girls in the early 1990's. She got her musical feet wet at open mics, and eventually a variety of coffeehouses and benefits in the Milwaukee area. Solo performances at smaller stages for Summerfest and the Indian Summer Festival were earned as well. The Spirals plus Carl Raven = Candice Nokes and the Ravin' True, a trio of blues / rock / indie rock genres. They have been enjoying main stage performances at the Indian Summer Festival in recent years.

Candice's song, "A Whole Long While," was a 2010 finalist in the Blues Category of the Indian Summer Music Awards competition in Milwaukee, WI. Recorded with Mark Truesdell and the Lost Pioneers in 1997 at Walls Have Ears Studio, Milwaukee, WI, it started out as a poem.

"Trapped," a 2011 rock remake of a 1991 acoustic Nokes composition, was recorded by Candice, Mark, and percussionist, Carl Raven. Trapped was a 2011 finalist in the Pop Category of the Indian Summer Music Awards, Milwaukee, WI.

In addition to the Indigo Girls, Candice's influences include Paul Simon, Steve Perry, Sinead O'Connor, Tony Orlando, Ella Fitzgerald, Lucille Nokes (her grandmother), early Beatles, Roberta Flack, Hildegard Von Bingen, Suzanne Vega, Diana Krall, and KT Tunstall.

Mark has kicked around the Milwaukee band scene for years in various groups including: John the Conqueroo, FS Camels, The Dellmann Trio, Mark Truesdell & The Lost Pioneers, Nucklehead, Truesdell & Rautmann and local legends - The 40 oz Kings.

Mark Truesdell and the Lost Pioneers were featured at Summerfest as the winners of VH1's Local Hometown Heroes Contest in 1997.

Mark invented the musical instrument, the Rotella Cosmica, which is one of the featured instruments in the Once Now Ensemble, an improvisational group who originally developed under Hal Rammel's direction during an Alternating Currents Live Workshop at Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI. http://www.oncenowensemble.com/

Mark is also a member of the Dumb Terminal Project, Milwaukee, WI. http://www.dumbterminalproject.com/

Acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, harmonica, accordion, keyboard, bass, drums, and the Rotella Cosmica are a few of the instruments that Marks calls on during his musical performances.

Mark's influences include Sun Ra, The Doors, The Clash, Little Walter, Johnny Cash, Todd Rundgren, Grace Jones, Billy Bragg, Marshall Crenshaw, JJ Cale, Kraftwerk, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Pharoah Sanders, and Tab Benoit.

"Orange," Mark Truesdell (music and lyrics) and Candice Nokes (lyrics) was a 2012 finalist in the Pop Category of the Indian Summer Music Awards, Milwaukee, WI. Carl Raven played percussion.

The Spirals have been married for over two decades and between shows enjoy sharing their home with two cats and an expanding garden.

If all goes according to plan, someday you'll hear the Spirals playing at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy with a hit single produced by Todd Rundgren under their belts.