I just got back from seeing music at Radio Bean. I got out of work early, and took a short nap. It’s going to be a long night, and was a long one last night! I headed back to the Bean just before 4 and Gua Gua were playing some easy to sway to grooves. They are a four-piece with bongos, percussion, bass and acoustic guitar. The guitar was interesting as it was strung like a 6-string version of a 12-string. Two strings close together, a space, two strings close together, a space, and two more. They had a bit of a tropical feel but the guitar, which lead the music along, was always looking for a new path. The song and a half that I caught created a nice space to exist in.
Up next, Johnnie Day Durand took the stage with some backing music and her saw. The first song had an industrial beat and the second had a harpsichord sounding melody. She played the saw over it and made it sing. It was like listening to an opera diva doing an aria, without the vocalization. She bent it this way and that and pulled out some of the most amazing notes you could imagine. I loved every moment and wish she had played more.
Up next Brian Lynam played piano and sang for a bit. Most of the set was music, but his steady voice was great on the few vocals. He said he was playing parts from his opera God’s Only Man (?) and the sound was filled with elegant theme building. From the moment he hit the first note, I knew it was going to be one of those performers who’s music I love instantly. I’ve gotta check out the rest of the piece.
Sarah Griffin followed with a trio of strong songs played on acoustic guitar. Her voice was lovely to listen to and her playing was right on the mark. Her second song was a rousing version of Apeman that had me smiling and singing along. Her other two were pretty good too.
The pace picked up as The Snaz, a four-piece from Brattleboro, took the stage. The guitar/vocals, bass, drums, keys/vocals band played some funky grooves with an indie rock edge. The first song bopped along and had almost punk vocals. The second, Brainwashed Nation, had softer vocals, but some rocking guitar. All four songs they played, including the brand new last one, were really good. As far as I’m concerned, they can come back anytime.
Things took a turn for the gentle as Maryse Smith and Michael Chorney took the stage. The first song was so delicate I had to really focus to hear it. The guitar interplay was subtle and gorgeous. They lit up the room with a killer version of Liar in the second slot and closed with a song who’s title eludes me, but still has me humming I told you once, but I forgot.
After that I ducked out, and took the short walk home. I’m going to head back around 8 and lock in for the night, but definitely needed a bit of a break. My head and heart are very full of music, and there is a lot to come!