Many Thanks

After four years of twice-monthly musical performances, this version of The Acoustic Showcase has ended. Many thanks to all the wonderful, talented musicians who freely shared their songs with us; many thanks to the people who showed up to listen, sing along, and (occasionally) dance; and many thanks to our hosts at Starbucks, 60 Bedford St. in Lexington, MA.

As of this writing, a new version of the Showcase is planned to begin in the spring of 2013.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Sounds, Lousy Visuals

Another pleasing evening at the Acoustic Showcase. Unfortunately, someone forgot to bring the camera (that would be me), so we're stuck with foggy iPhone photos to commemorate the event. The music was great -- an all-acoustic, folk-influenced sequence of performers with a mature singer/songwriter vibe.

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We began with house band Laughing Boy; gearing up for their upcoming gig opening for Sons Of The Never Wrong at Amazing Things (Framingham), they tore through a thirty minute set, barely pausing to catch their collective breaths.
Unfortunately, the photographer was busy playing with the band, so here's a not-so-recent publicity shot.
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Next up were Showcase newcomers Gordon MacFarland and Liz Buchanan. Not so new, actually -- while they haven't played for us before, they are stalwart audience members! It was a treat to hear them perform.
Gordon and Liz, through the coffee-scented haze 
They traded off (and sometimes doubled) on guitar, with the other joining with percussion. Nice vocals, with clear, true harmonies throughout. Both were clearly comfortable on stage, and this easy grace communicated well through the music. Nice to have them along!
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And here came another experienced Showcase new-comer: Richard Eilbert. A pleasing baritone voice, nice acoustic guitar, and lyrics worth listening to! One highlight of the set was "He's A Physicist" -- a love song replete with puns and double entendres relating to physics.
Richard was joined by Kenny Selcer on guitar, and their combined talents made for a richly enjoyable set, with Richard's engaging songs and Kenny's bright, fluid guitar commentary.
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Jane Fallon was scheduled to appear next, but she was home vanquishing a cold. So Kenny Selcer stepped into the breach, and we enjoyed a set of originals from him, with Liz Buchanan providing beautiful harmonies on many of the songs.
Kenny's a regular at many of the performance spaces and open mics in the greater Boston area -- and his music never gets old for me. He's got a huge notebook of great original songs (you should have seen it bending the music stand), and so many of them feature his beautiful guitar work, intelligent, inviting lyrics, and pleasing melodies. Too bad Jane was sick, but it was a lot of fun to hear from Kenny.
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And that concludes (yet) another Acoustic Showcase. Hope to see you next time!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Deep Roots

Roots music at the Acoustic Showcase this past Saturday -- great acoustic finger picking, and six un-amplified voices raised in harmony to complete the show. Very satisfying.
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We began with Bill Baer, who introduced the evening's blue theme: songs from Robert Johnson and many others picked, snapped, twanged, shimmered and chimed.

Bill's got a great feel for these songs, and it's a pleasure to share in the pleasure he gets playing them. We got a treat when newcomer Kevin Duggan joined him on harp for a song or two -- with great tone, phrasing, trills, and octaves.
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Kevin Duggan was next up; he put down the harp, picked up the guitar, and treated us to a great set -- short but sweet.
Kevin's new to the Showcase, and he said he hadn't performed in a while, but you wouldn't know it to hear him -- the songs were tuneful and assured, with some great picking patterns featured. A treat.
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We heard next from another newcomer: Glenn Pettit. What a guitar player! He tore through some oldies but goodies, and added some really intriguing originals -- including one "Egyptian Reggae" tune with some wonderfully discordant tweaks. We got a big kick out of listening to Glenn.

We also enjoyed the varied instruments -- a lot of acoustic guitar, a Stratocaster, and also a Fender six string bass repurposed as a baritone guitar.  Cool, or what? Glenn rocks.
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Jack, Mike, Peggy, Paul, Quinn, and Chris

We capped off the evening with old friends Arl-Lex Five & Dime. The big thrill here was they opted to go all-acoustic -- eschewing microphones and guitar amplification.  Only Jack's bass was plugged in. This made for an inviting, "welcome to our living room" feel that the audience clearly appreciated. (By the way, note Quinn playing the mandolin. You have to love a 6 year old multi-instrumentalist.)
Beautiful harmonies -- here's Peggy taking lead on a gorgeous a cappella hymn.

And there's Quinn digging into another fiddle solo -- he's got "feel" beyond his years. 

Another warm, welcoming set from Arl-Lex Five & Dime!

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And so another Acoustic Showcase has come and gone. Tune in next time for more flourishing music with deep, strong roots!