Two of the major food groups, a great delivery system, and the self-titled “Official Headquarters for Artists, Writers, Philosophers, Musicians, Actors & Dancers” with the reminder “We dreamers MUST stick together!”
I had another event earlier in the evening, so I was only able to make it for the last 40 minutes or so of Row Jomah‘s set. The only only reason I even heard of Beer & Brownies is that Row Jomah has me on speed dial (remember that?).
The quintet tailored their sound perfectly to fit the room, a double storefront with tables and chairs as well as comfy couches. I know they played “Tell Me” and “Outhouse” from their excellent album release, Cat People! Like every band on the scene, they are honing their sound and getting ever tighter, even as they stretch out songs. This was an excellent outing. Joe Roma and compatriots put on a great set.
And Beer & Brownies? The Pattersons are warm hosts, and it was a fun place to hear music. The beer comes from the fridge (and I hope they stock some porters or stouts in future!), and the brownies were really good. OK, I only had one, the double chocolate something or other. Mmm! I’m going back.
After having the pleasure of meeting Joe’s parents and sister, I hustled over to Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe to catch a ‘new’ collaboration. Bryan Lewis, Jordan Garno and Adam Volpe have a trio called The 3rd Kind. Lewis plays keyboards for Serotonic and Acme Jazz Garage, Garno plays guitar with Serotonic and with Infinite Groove Orchestra, and Adam Volpe plays drums in IGO. When Serotonic opened for The Motet the previous week, Volpe was a great addition on percussion. This is cross-pollination at its best.
I was not sure exactly what to expect, knowing that they could go any direction. Which is exactly what they did. Jazz, fusion, funk and rock are all squarely in the band’s wheelhouse. And then, a lovely surprise, as Kelli-Ann Garno got on stage to sing a few tunes. Josh Formanek and Serena were also in the house.
The first tune I did not know, and I was roundly chastised; it was “Nakamura” by Hiatus Koiote. The second one she did was something like “Why Don’t You Come Over My Way.” I had not seen her sing in a long time, and this was delightful. She was in great form, and the sound system did her justice.
After the break, Kelli-Ann was once again on stage, this time with Formanek on bass (freeing Lewis up from bass duties). They played a great jazzy arrangement of “Crazy.” Kelli-Ann sat down, but Formanek stayed for a Serotonic original (you would think I could call it by now, after 32 shows). They also played a great version of Soulive’s “Steppin’.”
Formanek ‘stepped’ off while they played another Serotonic original, “Strasbourg,” and then a superb cover of “Mokuba” by TAUK. Then it was all five back on stage for the Maroon 5 smash “This Love,” very nicely rendered.
One ‘new’ band, one familiar band, one new fun venue, one familiar venue. That’s a perfect evening in my book!