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Francesca Blanchard and Chazzy Lake at ArtsRiot and Haley Jane at Orlando’s March 15, 2018   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing music Friday night at ArtsRiot and Orlando’s. It was a 57 degree day and the world was melting. The walk down to Pine street was easy and joyous and I slipped in the door and wandered into the show room. The lights were dim and the stage was empty except for one amp, two lamps and a row of candles at the front. There was a square rug in front of the stage with two chairs and two guitars and a keyboard to the right. A string of white lights flowed from the stage, around the edge of the rug and up the second of the two mic stands. Blankets and pillows filled the floor. I reached for my camera to take a picture and realized I had left it, and my note pad, at home. Oh well. The rest of the room had a couple of rows of chairs and lots of different table setups. Surely, anyone could find a comfy place to be. Off in the corner there was soup for whomever wanted.

I was wondering about Chazzy Lake and had an oh, right, moment when Charlie Hill sat down and began to play an acoustic guitar. His voice sounded nice and his playing was fine. He sang a song about glasses, and a song that begins with his dog waking up from a dream. He played a love song to himself called Me that was fun, then dropped some poignant joy with So Good (I Could Die). After a bit, he brought Francesca up for a couple of songs and the way their voices blended melted me.

After that there was a quick set break then Francesca Blanchard took over. Her voice was pure and true and she played most of the songs on guitar. Her between song banter was witty and fun and added to the cozy atmosphere. I think she opened with Maria and she definitely played that song about stalking ex-girlfriends on the internet. The song about the world spinning slightly off-kilter seemed to generate a little extra spark with the audience. She moved to the keys for a gorgeous piece called piano song which also elicited a lot of love from the crowd. After a bit she brought Chazzy back and they played a couple of covers. I don’t know the second one, but it was great. The first was a version of Only Love Can Break Your Heart that was just stunning.

After the set I headed quickly back to town. A new old venue called Orlando’s had just opened up at 1 Lawson Lane. I thought it was going to be Hayley Jane and the Primates but it turned out to just be Haley Jane. That’s fine, since she is such a strong performer. There was a small table and one chair right in front of the stage. I took the invitation and sat and listened. She can unleash her powerful voice when she wants but she also sings with a lot of nuance and I reveled in it as she played rock songs on the acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, the place was packed with a Friday night crowd with little or no focus on the music. Some people were getting into it, but most were there to hang tout and chat. Haley seemed unfazed by the din and charged through her set. At some point I realized I was tired and my drink was empty, so I headed out. I was hoping for a full on rock show, but I was close enough to the stage that I could focus on the wonderful singing and playing, and am glad I stopped in.

The rest of the walk home was lovely. Sorry, no pictures this time. Next time, I promise.

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Posted March 24, 2019 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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