Saturday, April 3, 2004, The Cantrells

This was the show that almost wasn’t. While I was cruising the backroads between St. Louis and Evansville on my new v-twin, Al was leaving messages on the answering machine that would have made me nervous had I heard them in sequence. But my message machine plays in reverse order, so the first message from Al started with “It looks like we’ll be able to make it tonight after all.” It thrned out that Emily was fighting a bout of laryngitis, and it cleared up just enough by mid-day to make the performance.

Al and Emily Cantrell cast a magical spell with their airy, joyful acoustic songs. Emily uses her voice as an instrument on soaring vocals like a country Joni Mitchell, while Al plays off her Martin guitar with spirited fiddling and a dazzling mandolin technique–his music weaves through her words as if the two were locked in an intuitive dance.It sure was something to listen to this talented duo.

Saturday, March 6, 2004, Matthew Fox

Matt and I started talking about mandolins and house concerts a couple years ago, about the time his first CD, “Pilgrim” hit the shelves. What I didn’t know at the time is that Matt is a wild guitar player with strong jazz and country blues influences. While his CD covered more traditional territory, his performance included some mean slide guitar and some really terrific originals.The other thing I found out is that Matt is a genuinely nice guy, considerate and unassuming, and a pleasure to converse with. I’m looking forward to a chance to spend a bit more time, and maybe we can squeeze in a slide guitar lesson or two!

Saturday, February 14, 2004, Troubadours of Divine Bliss

At first, I didn’t know what to think of this blissful duo. They had this website with wild graphics remniscent of what you might find strolling through the parking lot at a Grateful Dead concert. A description of the duo sounded like they could be an oddly inspired religious order. I was baffled, so I contacted them and well, we just had to bring them to Evansville.Voted “New Orleans Best New Folk Band” by Offbeat magazine, they’re zany and original, their musical style knows no limits.

The Troubadours were an absolute joy to listen to and watch. They’re funny and witty, their timing is exceptional, whether it be a riff or a one-liner. It’s hard to believe that so much music comes from just these two women. I sure hoe we can have them back sometime, because I’m ready for some more of that musical bliss!

Saturday, January 17, 2004 Cindy Kallet

When I hear Cindy Kallet sing, I smell the salt air of the New England coast, and see the quilt of autumn colors drawn across rolling mountains, and taste the sweetest and freshest maple syrup that I can imagine. It takes me back to the times when I wandered the coast from Cape Cod to Camden. Cindy’s songs paint pictures of New England with a voice that resonates with something deep inside. From mythic to humorous, her songs bring you closer to the human spirit.