Thursday, August 25, 2011

Aftermath: Byrd and Street and Drew Lopenzina at the Throeau Wood's Coffeehouse (08/20/11)

Last Saturday, August 20th, Drew Lopenzina opened for Byrd and Street at the Thoreau Woods Coffeehouse.  

I'd never been to Thoreau Wood's Coffeehouse before Saturday. Given its name, I was expecting to find a small cottage in the forest near a pond. Once passed the new houses that line the street that the Thoreau Woods Coffeehouse is located on, it really did feel like a building nestled in the woods.It was definitely a transcendental experience driving into the parking lot. 

(Sign at the entrance)
The building was very nice. I didn't take many pictures of the inside, but here is a picture of the outside:

Once inside, I paid the "suggested" donation price, and then waited for Drew Lopenzina to begin his performance.

With his blue backwards cap, T-shirt, and jeans, Drew Lopenzina emitted an air of confidence before, and even more so, after he began to perform. Despite being an English professor, he actually looked, dare I say, cool on stage. It's hard to describe his vocals without using overused adjectives such as "moody," "smooth," and "appealing."
(A bottle of water enjoying Drew Lopenzina's performance)
His music was edgier than what I would describe as traditional folk music. He describes it as being "Folk-Rock & Roll" music. The best way to actually understand what I am talking about is by listening to his music for yourself. His most recent free CD is currently sold out, but more will most likely be available again soon upon request.  
"Girl, you are just one cell phone call away," is a line from his song, "Cut and Shoot," which is inspired by the town of the same name. The song is a about a man whose car breaks down in the town one night as he is driving home. 

This song stuck in the head of one audience member, James Patton, who looked up the true meaning of the name. According to his source, the name was inspired by a declaration of a young boy, who said "I'm going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute!" during a town confrontation. There are various versions of the story behind the confrontation, but this quote remains the same in most of the stories.

(The man with the knowledge, James Patton)

You can listen to "Cut and Shoot"  by clicking HERE. A few of his other songs are available on the same site.
Drew Lopenzina's performance ran a few minutes long, and he was stopped from playing his last song. I wish he had been able to finish his performance on the song that he wanted to end on, because I know that I was definitely NOT the only one in the crowd who wanted him to continue with one more song.
After a short break, the featured act, Byrd and Street, began.  I already wrote about the background history of Byrd and Street HERE, so I will refrain from repeating myself. They both have a very impressive music background.
This band had a more traditional folk sound than Lopenzina. Tom Byrd introduced every song with the origin story of each song. I found each story to be just as enjoyable as the song that followed.
(Kathy Street and Tom Byrd)
"All of our songs are based on true stories... I think," said Byrd towards the beginning of his performance. I think, that I believe him. Each story that he told felt real, and they enhanced my feelings for each song.
My favorite story was the one that he told for the song “A Long Line of Love.” The song was inspired by a letter he found written by his great grandfather. The letter, that Byrd described as one really long sentence with many spelling and grammatical errors, was a love letter that his grandfather had written to a woman who was engaged to another man. The woman, who his grandfather painstakingly professed his love to, turned out to be Byrd’s grandmother. They married two years after the letter was written.
(My camera's flash battling with another camera's flash)
Brian Kalinec also performed with Byrd and Street. I've listened to his CD a couple of times since Saturday. Listening to his CD, Last Man Standing, while cleaning actually turned washing dishes into a pleasant experience. You can listen to his music by clicking HERE.

(Brian Kalinec)

I enjoyed both of the performances last Saturday, and I look forward to going to the Thoreau Woods Coffeehouse for future shows. It nice to see that there is a venue in town that caters to folk music.

You can view their schedule of upcoming performers by clicking HERE. I'm especially looking forward the opening acts of John Guedry and also Gene Young. I am biased towards people I personally know make great music. =)

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