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   The Music Column  By Scott Detweiler  www.detweilermusic.com

Photo courtesy of Rony Armas
NOHO HALLENBECK’S 

By Scott Detweiler

 


On Saturday night, February 19th, like every Saturday night, Hallenbeck’s General Store (on Cahuenga) in NoHo, presented an interesting and diverse lineup of bands and solo artists.   Among the featured artists to perform this evening were country-folk-rock singer-songwriter Andrea Louise (with her band), and solo guitar instrumentalist, Greg Lyons.   

Andrea Louise is a gifted singer-songwriter who hails from San Francisco.  Her band for the night was made up of Ray Davidson (on electric guitar and back-up vocals); Dave McKelvy (on harmonica); Joseph (on rhythm acoustic guitar and back-up vocals), Dave Horton (on upright bass) and, of course, Andrea on rhythm acoustic guitar and lead vocals. 

Although Andrea’s vocal style remained constant throughout the set, with a voice that is sweet and powerful, somewhere between Linda Ronstadt and Norah Jones, the styles of the songs were varied.  This made the set interesting, to say the least.  

Her set included songs from her latest release, entitled, “So Far” (available at www.andrealouise.com). 

They opened with “I Need An Angel Tonight”.  Joseph and Andrea slapped on their capos and laid down a soulful bluesy groove over which Dave McKelvy blew solo harmonica with hot heart and sweat. 

“Kiss Kiss” was next on the list.  A clap-a-long that chugged along with great scrappy Strat licks from Ray Davidson and smoldering harmonica lines from McKelvy, it smacked of the classic “Kansas City.”  

“Dracula,” which, according to Andrea, is the “Cliff-Notes of Stoker’s classic novel in four verse,s” was a beautiful piece, in B minor, picked and sung in a gothic, epic style that had the feel of a 19th century Transylvanian castle.  Beautiful.  The arrangement included dark and haunting whole-note lines piped by Dave McKelvy.  

The next song in the set was “Haunted,” a story of a ghost, which featured Joseph on vocals.  Ray Davidson’s distorted Strat sounds added a chilling dimension to the song.   

“Rock Me Through The Night” rocked with full and rich harmonies that accentuated the choruses. 

“Let Go Moses,” which was penned by Paul Nelson and Sue Fink, was the most moving song of the entire set.  Rich and righteous, with a gospel feel, the harmonies between Davidson, Louise and Joseph were stunning. 

The varied voicing between the rhythm guitars (Andrea’s was capoed and Joseph’s was not) gave the rhythm of the next song in the set, “I Wait For You,” a rich and broad texture.   They played very well together throughout the set but played especially tight on this particular number.     

“Lullaby” was a great lullaby in ¾ time and was the most harmonically interesting song in the set because of its chromatic chord changes. 

“Nobody’s Woman” was a good-time, 4 (four) on the floor blues slammer.   Great guitar work here, by Ray Davidson, and solid bass playing by Dave Horton. 

“Down The Road I Go” ‘s harmonica solo by Dave McKelvy confirmed the fact that he is one of the best harmonica players to pick up a harp. His tone was crystal clear, syrupy smooth and sweet as he blew over this folksy ballad that was reminiscent of Dylan’s “Blowin In The Wind”. 

Although all of the members of Andrea Louise’s band were very accomplished musicians in their own rite, Dave McKelvy really shined, probably, in part, because of the fact that good harp players are so rare and seldom seen in Los Angeles.      

Overall, the most striking and unique feature about this band would have to be the rich vocal harmonies provided by Davidson, Joseph and Louise.  

Next up was the solo 12-string guitar instrumentalist Greg Lyons. 

He calls his brand of music “semi-classical” and with good reason.   His classical fingerpicked style, along with the running of the guitar though a Boss GT-6 Effects Processor for the entire set, and the scales he utilized, gave him a sound that would probably be best compared to that of famed Yes guitar master, Steve Howe.   

Highlights of his set included the instrumental pieces, “Prelude,” “Falling Leaves” and “Alone In The Sea Of Life.”Be sure to check out Hallenbeck’s for the best and most diverse live music that Noho has to offer.  

Copyright 2005 Scott Detweiler.  All Rights Reserved. 

Scott Detweiler is an accomplished musician in his own rite and has just released his sixth CD.  For more details, log on to www.detweilermusic.com, or write to scott@detweilermusic.com.  

 

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Revised:  Thursday March 03, 2005 08:49
Revised: March 03, 2005