Two bright spots in my three FA days: the high-energy, foot-clackin’, acoustic Quebecois trio De Temps Antan plays with wild abandon and we’re all the better for it. All three n remain seated, beating out complicated rhythms on plywood squares beneath their feet (not thumping, but closer to a tapdance sound), all the while blazing away on accordion, fiddle, guitar and vocals. Take the most get-you-moving Cajun tune you know and double it, you’ll get the idea. Don’t worry that they sing in French; I speak French and English and I only catch a word here and there of either language and honestly it doesn’t matter to the way this group captures an audience.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the Milk Carton Kids, two droll guys who sing heavenly harmonies, somewhat reminiscent of early Simon and Garfunkel at their most wistful. Weaving in and out of the melody, the harmonies stand alone, keeping the audience really listening. Between songs, they offer some witty banter that sounds impromptu. Both play guitar, but Joey Ryan’s lovely guitar solos truly shine. Their The Ash & Clay CD hits on March 26 and offers a taste of their charismatic live performance.
– Suzanne Cadgene