Saturday, June 9, 2001
Merrie Amsterburg's clear, emotional Soprano voice invites comparisons to Aimee Mann and Kristin Hersh, but her fearless proficiency with instruments like guitar, mandolin, Indian banjo and bouzouki create a mood and tone all her own. Any musician who can find musical inspiration in the pitch of her early 1970's washing machine should be worth a closer look.
Vermont-based singer-songwriter CHAD received free publicity from Florida's election debate on pregnant vs. hanging chads, but it's his spontaneous, effervescent and funky live shows which really spread the word. His rhythmic guitar jam sessions and clever rocking lyrics are only commonplace if you've seen Paul Simon join the Barenaked Ladies to jam with Phish.
Nitty-gritty, down 'n dirty, fingerpickin'-singer-songwriter Jack Grace combines rockabilly lyrics and acoustic guitar licks with a jazz - rock bent in a way reminiscent of Johnny Cash, Doc Watson or Tom Waits. Savor a whiskey neat and a cigarette as you experience the Jack Grace Band and their expanding arsenal of lap steel and pedal steel players.
Those that say rock and roll is dead have not heard the Eric Stuart Band, who count Peter Frampton and Ringo Starr as fans (Frampton also co-produced their latest CD). Like his influences Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen, Eric Stuart writes heartfelt songs about everyday instances, and crafts them around solid guitar-driven melodies.