Monday, October 5, 2009

More Pearl Company

A week later and we were back at the Pearl Company to see, and hear, The Marigolds. As you'll see (and hear) by following that link, The Marigolds is a trio comprised of Suzie Vinnick, Caitlin Hanford and Gwen Swick, but after but after seeing them on Saturday night, I assure you...they're a band!
With the addition of percussionist Randall Coryell, Gwen playing bass, Caitlin on rhythm guitar and Suzie adding some hot lead guitar...they can flat out rock! But they don't rock all the time. Sometimes it's Sons of the Pioneersy old-time country like on "A Little Bit of Heaven" and sometimes there's a touch of jazz as on the title track of their new CD That's the State I'm In.
They came to play, and the small but very appreciative crowd came to listen. The night began with a little tuning up, and then Suzie kicked things off with the first track of the new CD. This song lists the things she might do "For Your Love" and it boils down to "anything I can think of..." Suzie's voice is a bluesy and potent instrument, Caitlin brings a clear Appalachian soprano, and Gwen provides the rich alto, but together they create something dreamlike, other-worldly. Harmony singing is one of my weaknesses, and I was completely smitten Saturday night!
The songs have inherent strength in their writing. These are well constructed, melodic tunes, and the lyrics are memorable too. Swick's "Anyone Can Dream" reminds us that "there's a statue that longs to be a national treasure...a sapling that looks high into the trees...a pebble that would die to lie in the Rockies...and anyone can dream." Caitlin's "When I'm Walking With You" is a song she wrote (with Gwen) about the joys of walking with a friend. They share writing duties, Suzie providing songs like "Sometimes I Think I Can Fly" (written with Dan Kershaw) and assisting with all the Marigolds on "Why Baby" or "For Your Love".
These are songs from the new CD, but as I listen to the carefully produced (by Steve Dawson) album, I think I liked the rawness of the live versions better. There was just something about the group interaction, and their obvious affection for each other, and the fire in Suzie's guitar solos, that when added to the bliss of the vocal blend created a separate entity of Marigold-mania, or something. Whatever you want to call it, we were transported to a land of harmony and melody. Aaah!
And of course, thanks to Gary and Barbara our hosts at the Pearl Company, which is quickly becoming my favourite venue anywhere!

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