Jayme Salviati - We begin with a nice singer songwriter with acoustic guitar. Her voice is more the star as she smoothly works it through a range of intensities and quiet moments. She also has a stand-up bass player which is always a good touch for all but the finest solo acoustic guitarists (Basically I am saying Davy Graham was better on his own, but there are not too many guitarists at that level). Nothing flashy here, just good original folk music, well played. Members from the headliner joined in on the last cut adding some banjo, mandolin, and violin making for a friendly finish.
The Family Plots - After one of the worst intros from someone who will not have you recalling Brother J.C. Crawford, this interesting looking sextet plugs in. They take an ambient tune-up and somehow a folkesque song emerges out of it. The second cut has some brilliant avant vocal moves as a couple of back-up singers have some really odd parts. This is really hard to describe until more songs head down a more predictable 'Lost in the Trees' route. There is a cellist on stage with two guitars and female back-up singer that don't always come through much in the songs that follow. Then in an odd symmetrical move, the second to last song has some intriguing and wonderful odd rock structures in it. The closer balances things out as the opener did and I am left a little baffled. All I can say is that if this band takes some of those wildly creative moments and pushes it further out or a least unleashes it more frequently, we could have something really brilliant here. A work in progress (I hope), but one I want to keep tabs on.
Norman Rockwell - Norman Rockwell was a famous painter who my Dad met many years ago, as Rockwell provided covers for Top Value catalogs. And if you have any clue of what I am talking about regarding Top Value's business, then the bad news reveals that over half of your life is very likely to be behind you. The same sense of Americana that Norman Rockwell provided is also evident in this band, but only some. Thankfully, these guys do more than keep it that simple. They take their twin guitar and rhythm section stance with a great instrumental workout of Richard Strauss's "Also sprach Zarathustra" done 1960s style with that funky rhythm section that we all recall from those days while we were organizing our Top Value stamp books. After that, it is a steadier move to a solid Americana styled folk-rock that goes into 'The Band' territory. One guitarist breaks out a banjo and the other guitarist goes acoustic, but the sound is still quite strong. The lead vocals are excellent and the three others all back-up well. They have pulled in an excellent audience tonight, who are having a great time. And aside from some minor discomforts of my own which had me leave earlier than I would have liked, I really enjoyed the music I heard. They have a new record out and were celebrating its release tonight. Hopefully they can tour the area around here some, because I think they are capable of drawing in a lot of fans.
Quote of the Night: Brother J.C. Crawford many years ago... "I want to hear some revolution out there, brother!"