Cooie DeFrancesco at Radio Bean and Sad Turtle, Invisible Homes, The Mountain Says No and Villanelles at ArtsRiot February 17, 2017   Leave a comment

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Ben Maddox of The Mountain Says No pic by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music on Friday night. I had intended to go to Switchback to see Phil Yates and the Affiliates at 6pm, then head to the main show but another opportunity presented itself that I could not miss.

I’ve been Facebook friends with Cooie DeFrancesco for a while and met her once at a show, but had never heard her sing. She was set to play at Radio Bean at 7pm which lined up perfectly. I arrived close to showtime and she was already on stage singing and playing acoustic guitar. I settled in and listened and was taken by the warmth and fullness of her voice. It had a lot of power in it and just sounded lovely. She was singing a song in French when I arrived so I missed the title of it but she talked about most of the songs before she played them so I was able to get a good sense of the old cover songs that she pulled out. Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right was fun and I really appreciated the Don Gibson song Sweet Dreams. She told the origin story of Love Me Tender and sang it beautifully. She highlighted the sadly still relevant People Get Ready. Delbert McClinton’s Two More Bottles Of Wine was rocking and fun. She went to Hank Williams for Hey Good Looking then asked the audience which Patsy Cline song to sing. One person in the audience said both so she played Crazy and Walking After Midnight. She went back to Hank for Your Cheating Heart then followed with The Tennessee Waltz. She moved to a bit of a bluesy sound for Johnny Winter’s Mother Earth and followed it with The Same Old Blues. She capped the night with All Of Me and added a couple of extra lyrics for her husband Sal L. DeFrancesco. It was a lovely show and a great learning experience. Considering the detailed explanations of the songs I think she and Charlie Messing should get together and play a show sometime. Everyone in the audience would walk out with a masters in early 20th century music.

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Cooie DeFrancesco pic by Tim Lewis

I headed out quickly and walked to ArtsRiot and got settled in just before Sad Turtle took the stage. Their sound is a mix of jazz and rock and prog and sounds pretty cool. The songs are all instrumental and it’s fun to just listen and get into the flow. Feats Of Strength sounded great and the brand new song, Nautical By Nature, may have been the best one of their set. The rocking flow of their sound and the swirling nature of the light show from Heavy Light VT made the set a wonderful experience.

After a short set break the mighty Invisible Homes took the stage. They lit in with the heavy rocking This Machine and we were off. They mixed up the sound a little with the Crimsonesque All Your Basis, which viscerally reminded me that Adrian Belew will be playing that room in early March. The set had new songs from their upcoming album and classics, like Little Song, from Song For My Double. The new song about robots taking over the world was as fun as always. They capped the set with a huge version of Above The Frequency and an over the top Pale Rage. I loved every moment of the show.

Another short set break followed then The Mountain Says No took the stage to release their new album Golden Landfill. It’s a fantastic album full of heavy rock and intense drama and they played the whole thing, though in a slightly different order. They opened hard and heavy with Machu Picchu then eased up a tiny amount for You Say You’re Alive. The new single Nothing In This sounded great then they played the easy to sing Game Of Thrones. They rocked hard on Eggshell then played the moody and eerie Be Like Ryan. They stayed slow and searing for Blanket’s Fine then started slow and ended hard on Gazerbeam. They capped the set with the blistering I Know Right. With enchanting light show and enchanting music, I was in heaven.

After another short set break Villanelles took the stage and kept the attentive audience rocking. With intense drumming and intense bass playing and intense guitar playing and a keyboard which smooths out the sound, their quirky indie rock sounded great. Tristan Baribeau‘s singing was strong and the light show was as intense as it had been for the whole evening. They mixed songs from Blue Heart Attack, like opener Gray Goo, and Parking Lot from the Kiss My Grits EP. They tossed in a cover of They Boys Are Back In Town and had a nice guitar/keys harmony effect going on. Shy Spiders was full and over the top and kept me at peak happiness. The rest of the set was a bit of a beautiful blur since I was getting tired. They rocked hard and were lots of fun and are a band that should be seen whenever possible.

Soon after they wrapped up, I took the long and happy walk home.

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Sad Turtle pic by Tim Lewis

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Sad Turtle pic by Tim Lewis

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Sad Turtle pic by Tim Lewis

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Invisible Homes pic by Tim Lewis

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Invisible Homes pic by Tim Lewis

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Invisible Homes pic by Tim Lewis

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Invisible Homes pic by Tim Lewis

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The Mountain Says No pic by Tim Lewis

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The Mountain Says No pic by Tim Lewis

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Villanelles pic by Tim Lewis

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Villanelles pic by Tim Lewis

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