10 years ago, on September 17, 2006, bassist Steven Lanning-Cafaro and poet Tony Brown got on stage at the Java Hut in Worcester, MA, to perform together for the first time. This Thursday night, come celebrate that with the full band at starlite in Southbridge.
Back then, they didn’t have a name or much thought about making the partnership a long term thing. Look at all that’s happened since —
we’ve traveled extensively, played in coffee houses and at jazz AND poetry festivals up and down the East Coast, played with lots of terrific poets and musicians, even opened for Laurie Anderson;
we’ve become a four piece rock-jazz-funk-fusion powerhouse with the addition of producer Christopher Graham Lawton to a permanent onstage role on guitar and banjo and always smiling master of the Big Bam Boom, Chris O’Donnell, on drums;
we’ve released five albums in various configurations, including a live album;
and we’ve contributed to a feature film soundtrack, to which Faro also composed the score.
It all started ten years ago with a little suite for bass and poetry called “Jim’s Fall,” a seventeen minute set of poems on a suburban dad’s mental and emotional breakdown. You know…easy listening.
On Thursday night, we’re inviting you all to our gig at starlite, where we’ll be premiering a newly rearranged and overhauled version of “Jim’s Fall” for the full four piece. We’ve played it live as a band before, but we spent yesterday rearranging and composing new music for it. It’s killer, some of the best work we’ve ever done.
We’d love for you to hear it and come celebrate the start of our eleventh year as a unique performance group. Three sets, no cover in one of Central New England’s coolest venues.
Starlite Bar and Gallery, 39 Hamilton Street, Southbridge, MA. Kicks off around 9:00 for three sets. No cover. Craft cocktails, great sound system, full art gallery. It’s gonna be one for the ages.
Good crowd, high levels of enthusiasm, some spectacular playing by all members of the band, and not one but TWO live premieres of new work (including “The Chastisement of Charlie Eggplant,” which has nothing to do with suggestive emojis, and “I Can’t Get Excited,” the twisted Air Supply cover we did for OC Weekly’s Cover Song Challenge). Faro even improvised a bit of flamenco by request, with O-D and Lawton joining in for the end.
There are nights when you get to play off the energy of the crowd in such a way that you take what you already do well to a new level, and that describes it well.
It was especially gratifying to see a lot of friends in the crowd coming out from all over, some of whom got to see Starlite for the first time. It’s a great venue Demetri Kasperson has built there, and we hope to see more of you out there the next time we’re there — September 29th.
There have been some exciting things going on for the band and for its members in addition to our Air Supply cover challenge…
Of course you do. That was just yesterday.
But you may also recall this:
which appears as part of the soundtrack to Trinity, a feature film by our old friend Skip Shea. Tony and Faro appear in the movie performing the track, and the moody, ambient score was created by Faro.
We’re pleased to announce that the movie is starting to make some headway on the festival circuit, with its acceptance into festivals in NY, CA, Argentina, and Brazil. You can read all about those various acceptances, see the trailer, and check out the great reviews that are starting to pile up at the movie’s Facebook page.
Speaking of Faro, our erstwhile bass player and jack-of-all-instruments has also been working overtime with another band: metal masters Let Us Prey. They’ve released a new EP, “The Saint Of Killers,’ and have started playing out in the Northeast. Check them out on their Bandcamp site.
Tony’s also been busy. A new chapbook of his poetry, “In The Embers,” is available from Tired Hearts Press.
Keep an eye on the site for more info as the fall approaches…
A good friend of ours, journalist Victor Infante, for an upcoming story (allegedly) has for the second time tortured — um, recruited — a bunch of his musician friends into covering the work of questionable performers.
The rules of this particular fiendish challenge: you don’t get to choose the artist or song. All participants will get a song assigned from a particular artist being featured, and there’s no appeal — you either do it or you don’t and suffer eternal shame…
Victor’s first go around with this sort of venture was with the work of Phil Collins; we couldn’t be part of that one because of a time crunch, but this time around, we joined in and were given:
We were taken aback, at first. We also had minimal time to do the cover and needed to record our contribution live in our basement headquarters…but in two marathon sessions, we developed and recorded this…a slow burner of a song with a muted trumpet (synthesized by Faro on the keyboard), a minor key guitar throb courtesy of Mr. Lawton, and the usual steady punctuated by explosive moments drumming of Mr. O’Donnell. Tony took the oddly irritated yet upbeat lyrics of the original and delivered them in full Duende Project style with a tacked on freestyle rant at the end. (SNAP).
Or, as we put it when we introduced it to the world on the special Facebook group for the participants:
“A foggy night…a trenchcoat…a cigarette in the dark. An Australian pop group. A song with vaguely peevish lyrics, and a relentless upbeat melody…a group of twisted musicians and a poet…a sadistic challenge…and thus, we find ourselves HERE…The Duende Project as their alter ego, Noir Supply, with ‘I Can’t Get Excited.’ ”
Here it is:
Seriously, this was a LOT of fun. We might even add the piece to our live sets.