The Zii Trees at Radio Bean and Julia Caesar and Adrienne Cooper Smith at Ruach HaMaqom Synagogue July 19, 2018   Leave a comment

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Julia Caesar (regular configuration) pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music at Radio Bean and Ruach HaMaqom Synagogue. I ran some errands during the day, had some time at home to settle for a bit, then took the warm walk down to the Bean.

I got in and settled and The Zii Trees began to play. They opened with a song called The Outside and we were on our way. They are a keys/vocals and Ukulele/vocals duo who play songs with sweet melodies and fun changes. They sing together in harmony and the stream of consciousness lyrics fly out quickly in an enchanting way. They sang a song called Stars then one called Ribbons that may have been about wearing the colors of the sunrise. They continued to drop little slices of pop joy on us with a song about winter. Ella put down the Uke and picked up an acoustic guitar for the title song to the Red Road album. The song had a nice strength and they said the album version had an electric guitar. Marika’s keys sounded lovely on the new one that I think was about a world you haven’t figured out. They sang about watching from a distance then sang here comes the cold. They played a new song about a hotel pool where you’re born again with chlorine burns and advised that you close your eyes and glide. They closed the completely delightful set with The Tide.

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The Zii Trees pic by Tim Lewis

I bought a CD, took the warm walk home, dropped it off, then headed over to the synagogue. I arrived close to seven, hung out and chatted with Frank DeAngelis, then about 7:30 Adrienne Cooper Smith took the stage. The stark sound of the electric banjo was beautifully jarring and juxtaposed with the sweet sounding voice. The vocals were mixed down just enough that it was hard to grab the lyrics so I went with the flow. Late in the set a song started with no one knows and had a noir onset of night feel to it. I did not know the cover, and as the set wound its way to the end Adrienne began some blistering finger picking that lit up the packed room. It was a great way to end an intriguing set. I need to listen again soon. Very soon.

 

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Adrienne Cooper Smith pic by Tim Lewis

Some speakers explored ideas such as taking tangible steps to create racial harmony, paying nurses what they are worth so we can have great ones when we need them, and supporting migrant farm workers, since they do so much for all of us.

A couple of minutes after the last one finished, Julia Caesar took the stage. They opened with Ode To The River and Chosen Names of the Heavy Flow EP that they just released. Katy’s voice shone bright and strong and was glorious when mixed with Liz and Meg’s. Both played cool guitar parts as Katy drove the melodies with her bass and Steven rocked the drums hard. They played a song about winter and light going to gray then played a new song about hearing the harmonies. Liz leaned her guitar into the amp to bring out a subtle and sweet feedback sound that put me in a happy place. Meg and Steven switched instruments for Bricks And Bones and Liz played some keys. They returned to the regular instruments for a sing along clap along song about how we are dying alone. It was more fun than you might guess. They sang one about all falling down and feet touching the ground and drowning. Liz and Steven switched instruments for a song about being washed up on your shore again, then they returned to the regular instruments for Nose Dive. They closed with a rocking version of Falter that had Liz pulling all sorts of cool sounds from her pedals.

After the show I chatted with Peg Tassey and Rabbi Jan for a bit then took the short and lovely walk home. What a fantastic night

 

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