November 23, 2014

Mouths of Babes at Chestnut Tree Concerts

An unexpected treat last evening, trekking out to Oxford, CT for a house concert featuring Mouths of Babes

I say "unexpected" because I really did not know what to expect from Ty Greenstein (Girlyman) and Ingrid Elizabeth (Coyote Grace). I'm a Girlyman fan from way back, although to be honest I kind of embraced and enjoyed them as a group, and did not really parse their music individually.

Coyote Grace played the Falcon Ridge emerging artist showcase in 2009 (the micro-burst year) so for whatever reason (possibly collective PTSD, sorting out the merch trailer mess that year was kind of traumatic), they did not really catch my eye.

Seeing them was a real treat. Things I loved:
  • Great harmonies
  • Really fresh songs (Ty has been part of the Real Women / Real Songs project along with many of my faves, which has generated a few songs playes last evening
  • Diverse sound and instrumentation. Ty on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, and foot percussion, Ingrid on ukulele, U-Bass (she usually plays a stand-up bass), cajon, and harmonica. They even did a patty-cake number. No opportunity to get bored.
  • Ty and Ingrid - wonderful individuals and wonderful performers.
A little different from other Chestnut Tree Concerts in that they brought a small sound system and mic'd / plugged in. I can see the need (U-bass, foot percussion, electric guitar). Normally, I like to see what a group can do sans electronics (i.e. - Boxcar Lilies in April) - but the effects and amplification were judiciously applied; the sound was never problematic or intrusive. On a few numbers (a haunting electric guitar / echo, for instance) the electronics made the song work. 

Bottom Line: A wonderful evening and an opportunity to get to know a couple of artists I have perhaps let slip through the cracks, in terms of my musical attention. I picked up their new EP, Faith & Fumes, as well as the Coyote Grace disk Now Take Flight, an overdue bit of appreciative largesse from FRFF 2009.

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