This Week’s Compass

Local Music Spotlight

Who: Mark & Debbie Bond
What: Easy and classic rock, in a small package
Sounds like: Peter Gabriel, Vertical Horizon, Bon Jovi

A married couple playing a tasty blend of up-tempo rock and adult contemporary, they’re summer regulars at the Anchorage in Sunapee.   Recently, they began a residency at Ramunto’s in Claremont. “We want to be different, cater to our strengths, and take advantage of the technology we have on hand,” says Deb Bond. The result is a two-person band that sounds like four or five.

Mark and Debbie met in 1991, when both were members of Wildheart; a stint with alt-rockers Acid Bran led to a record deal and two songs in the film National Lampoon’s Last Resort. Later, they were original members of Last Kid Picked, and have played with several other area cover bands.

They cover other artists well (“Late In the Evening,” complete with horn track, is a standout), and play excellent originals. Broken, released in 2006, rocks on “Hot Day,” “All Along” and “One,” then cools down with the romantic ballad “Lipstick,” which builds to a crescendo, with Mark and Deb harmonizing and trading lead vocals.

Their union has also produced three children, and Debbie Bond says she’s “truly experienced it all: true love, incredible kids, artistic fulfillment and business success. What more can anyone ask for?” That’s sweet music, indeed.

Upcoming gigs:

Wednesday, Nov 4     7:00P    Ramunto’s, Claremont
Friday, Nov 6         7:30P    Gallery Walk – Adagio Trattoria, Brattleboro
Wednesday Nov 11     7:00P    Ramunto’s, Claremont
Saturday, Nov 14        9:30P    West Dover, Vermont (check web site for details)
Saturday, Nov 28        7:00P    Rick’s Tavern, Newfane, Vermont


Mark your calendar

Who: Susan Tedeschi
Where: Lebanon Opera House
When: Saturday, Nov 8, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $30/$40/$50

To many cognoscenti, Tedeschi is the reigning queen of the blues, a guitarist who can play the chrome off a trailer hitch and sing like a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin. This show will rattle the walls of the old opera house, so you should be prepared for an earth-shaking experience. Oh, she has three Grammy nominations and a song on the Bug soundtrack, plus Allman Brothers lineage by her marriage to Derek Trucks. How cool is that?

She’s got brass as well. Asked about meeting the Rolling Stones a few years ago, she replied, “I’m not intimidated by a bunch of British rockers. I’d be intimidated by Howlin’ Wolf if I met him, but I’m not intimidated by those guys.” How about that?

Tedeschi recently sang the National Anthem at a Red Sox playoff game. In January, she appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and performed with her husband at one of Barack Obama’s inauguration balls. You decide which is more impressive.

Worth driving out of town

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Saturday, Nov. 14 – XL Center Hartford, CT (2 shows) – 132 miles
Sunday, Nov. 15 – Verizon Wireless Arena Manchester, NH (2 shows) – 70 miles
Wednesday, Nov 18 – Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, RI (2 shows) – 169 miles
Thursday, Nov. 19 – DCU Center Worcester, MA – 105 miles
Sunday, Dec. 13 – Times Union Center Albany, NY (2 shows) – 126 miles
Tickets: $22-$68

For many, the holiday season begins the day after Thanksgiving; for others, it starts when Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to town.

Some bands perform in an arena-sized venue at the expense of intimacy, but only a hockey rink can contain Trans-Siberian Orchestra. They combine Queen’s bombast with the orchestral rock of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and the pageantry of Jesus Christ Superstar for a two hour-plus show replete with lasers, fire and a lighting system that looks like an escapee from Transformers.

A TSO show is typically divided into two parts. First, there’s a Christmas program featuring several different singers, most of them operatically trained and on loan from major Broadway productions. A 14-piece orchestra and seven-member rock band provide the music, with a James Earl Jones sound-alike narrating a story that’s equal parts piety and human warmth.

The rest is free form, combining non-holiday originals with arena rock staples like “Immigrant Song” and “Layla.” Since their just-released double album Night Castle is only the second without “Christmas” in the title, it will likely feature in much of the second set.

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