Thursday, October 6, 2011

10/05/11 Jack's Waterfall & Flearoy

Jack’s Waterfall headed up by singer/songwriter Jack Licitra came to Deepwells to share his energy, excitement and sense of humor. The music became non-stop theatre with his motley crew of musicians: a tuba player, Jon Preddice on cello, a young female high school senior and a percussionist who played not only drums, but pvc tubing. If Jack Licitra’s goal was to make the audience part of his band then he aptly accomplished that. If Jack Licitra believes that paying homage to his muse adds a transcendent mystical dimension to the creative process, then, in the final analysis, the lyrics seemed rather bland and unimaginative as each song very quickly blended seamlessly into each other until they disappeared from memory. If, indeed, as John announced, music is a healing art form, then he, like an evangelical preacher who makes bold promises and wild claims that he is filled by the spirit, then the audience can only leave energized, but still broken.

Flearoy, which I assume is a tongue-in-cheek take off on Leroy, came onto the stage at Deepwells like an unassuming collection of street musicians dressed in plaid who just happened to be passing through St. James on their way to somewhere else—and that somewhere else just might be fame and fortune. It’s hard to know where to begin. Jon Seale on vocals, at first seemed too much for one person to bear the weight of, but like other soul and blues singers, Bill Withers, Wilson Pickett, and John Fogerty, Jon Seale, in perfect pitch, quickly became the heart and soul of the band. Zack Rosen on bass had to be the most inventive stand up bass that I’ve heard in a long time. What he did on standup bass almost served as lead guitar and percussionist as he riffed off Dan Knobler (looking like a young Bob Dylan) on lead guitar who never stopped playing that American steel guitar which has the risk of sounding tinny, but which always soared in his hands without overshadowing the rest of the band. Flearoy sang a mix of their own songs and few covers ended the night with a rousing rendition of The Band’s Ophelia. Matt Porter, who I sensed has a good voice in his own right but who adopted the harmonium rather than his instrument the electronic keyboard, was never given his chance to shine, should be brought back into the band. Flearoy deserves a second, third and fourth listen.

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