Players – Local Music Spotlight
What: Alternative rock covers
Sounds Like: Post-millennial Heart
Crashgirl is a relative newcomer to the local music scene, but the band has built a steady following with frequent appearances at the Imperial Lounge in Claremont, along with other venues around the state, including their hometown of Keene.
Fronted by Kelly Darling-Snow on lead vocals, Crashgirl’s experienced musicians are well versed at making familiar material sound fresh. The band includes Neil Moxham on guitar, Roy Brown playing bass, drummer Jeff Costello and Paul Occhiaro on keyboards. Each member also sings, and Occhiaro add another dimension with an occasional saxophone solo.
Crashgirl recasts classic rock songs with a modern sheen. A good example of this is their cover of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” which is much bluesier and decidedly more upbeat than the original. A typical Crashgirl set includes several modernized chart-toppers like this from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, along with revamped versions of today’s pop hits with a rock style.
Friday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. – Imperial Lounge, Washington Street, Claremont
Saturday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. – McCues Billiards and Sports Lounge, Keene
Friday, March 5 at 10 p.m. – Gusto’s in Barre, Vermont
Horizon – Mark your calendar
What: Hey Mama
Where: Salt hill Pub, Lebanon
When: Friday, February 19 at 9 p.m.
Among the many stellar performances at the recent Lebanon Opera House Local Legends, none excited the crowd quite like Avi and Celia, a young duo who met as freshmen at the University of Vermont, and have been performing rootsy Americana together for the past 7 years. Celia Woodsmith’s raw, bluesy voice, reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, rolled over the stunned audience like a tidal wave, and the pair sold out their merchandise in the lobby when their set ended.
Avi & Celia recently hooked up with bass player Ben Kogan and drummer Jared Seabrook to form Hey Mama. As a duo, the pair (not romantically involved, in case you were wondering) relied on spare elements for their sound – acoustic guitar, washboard and hand percussion and, of course, Celia’s powerful pipes. With a rhythm section, they chug along like a freight train, as evidenced on the band’s eponymous first album, made last fall with Grammy nominated producer Jack Gauthier.
This is the Hey Mama’s first Upper Valley club appearance, though it should be noted that Avi & Celia will be playing as a duo using the Hey Mama name. There’s no cover charge, but it’s a good idea to bring an extra 10 or 20 bucks for a CD purchase.
Beyond – Worth driving out of town
What: Jeffrey Foucault & Anders Parker
Where: Hooker-Dunham Theatre, 139 Main St. in Brattleboro
When: Saturday, Feb 13, 7 p.m.
Distance: 48 Miles
“Northbound 35,” a great tune about the end of love and how wearying it can be, is reason enough to pay attention to Jeffrey Foucault. But that’s just one favorite among many. The Wisconsin-born singer/songwriter, who nowadays calls Western Massachusetts home, has a lot in common with John Prine. Like Prine, Foucault’s songs often reveal flawed characters with human pain searching for redemption that’s not completely out of reach, but very close to it.
So it makes sense that Foucault made Shoot the Moon Between the Eyes, a loving tribute to Prine’s music released last year. He’s currently working on a follow-up to his last studio album, 2006’s Ghost Repeater, with help from pal Peter Mulvey and longtime producer David “Goody” Goodrich, and will likely play a few new selections at the Brattleboro show. Also appearing is Anders Parker, a talented songwriter who’s been making critically acclaimed music for the past 15 years.
The Hooker-Dunham is an intimate space that seats a little over 100 people; it’s the perfect venue for Foucault and Parker’s music.