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Music

Algonquin teen finds success with folk duo, new album

With a solo album already under her belt, 16-year-old Althea Grace of Algonquin has found even more musical acclaim as half of the “poppy-folk” duo, Future Stuff.

Future Stuff, also featuring singer/songwriter Gabe Burdulis of Nashville, Tennessee, recently released an EP and went on tour – performing throughout Wisconsin, Chicago and Nashville, and heading to California next week. They’ve opened for Uncle Lucius, a popular Austin-based indie rock band, as well as Ike Willis, a regular sideman for Frank Zappa.

The duo’s self-titled EP was featured on Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlist, with their song, “Act Like You Love Me,” becoming an instant hit.

All this, and Grace is working to graduate from Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville a year early.

“It’s a little crazy trying to work out practicing and playing shows together, but it’s been working pretty well, just trying to make a go of it as a duo. This summer, we’d like to get out and travel more,” said Grace, the daughter of Dave and Meghan Roggenbuck who goes by Grace. “It’s been a really great year. This new EP, I’m really proud of it.”

Grace met Burdulis about three years ago when the two competed in a Battle of the Bands. They kept in touch and started playing together. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Burdulis has released three solo CDs and has performed at Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Summerfest, known as the world’s largest music festival, numerous times.

With Burdulis playing guitar, kick drum and occasionally the trumpet, Grace plays the upright bass and guitar for an acoustic, yet full-band, sound she describes as “super eclectic.”

“It’s a folky pop duo, but we also have the same blues influences both of us used to play with our solo acts,” she said. The duo’s online description at www.futuremusic.com, where the EP can be bought, along with all all major music sites, says it best, she said.

“Their heavy blues influence gives their music and lyrics a sound beyond their years and can best be described as a vintage folk/pop style that will keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as tear at your heart strings,” a description reads.

Both Burdulis and Grace are songwriters as well as performers. Grace, who maintains the website www.altheagraceband.com for her solo career, has strummed her guitar and sang songs she’s written at festivals and venues throughout the area since age 7. She won the McHenry County Fair Talent Contest before releasing her first CD, “Running the Show” last year.

She occasionally still performs on her own, but said Future Stuff is her main focus these said.

“Playing as a duo just kind of works,” she said.

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