Towne Crier Café, July 24, 2004:
After a few years of persuasion and repeated accolades from my dear friend, the belly dancing diva LadyB, I finally get the opportunity to see singer/songwriter Jim Dawson. I drive up to Pawling, New York to the Town Crier Café. I used to live in Patterson, New York in the mid seventies, so Route 22 in Putnam county is my old stompin’ grounds. I arrive early and the audience grows and glows in anticipation of Jim Dawson.
The opening act is MotherLode Trio. I have no point of reference for this group, so I’m completely open to what might await me. My very first impression is; what a soothing meld of vocal harmony. The trio is comprised of three female vocalists: Stacy Labriola, Patti Pelican and Terry Platz, who are vibrant young mothers. After just a few songs it is evidently clear the song content is about motherhood, family and children. An extremely competent guitarist, Jeff Entin, plays lead acoustic guitar to complement Stacy’s acoustic guitar accompaniment.
The opening tune, “Break Of Day,” is smooth and eloquent. The vocal harmonies are delicate and articulate. The unison vocal delivery on the verse is well executed and effective. I feel immediately a sense of musical quality and expressive wonderment. The next song, “Therapy,” is a Terry Platz composition. The musical mood is happy and upbeat. The ukulele intro and accompaniment is clever, confident and appropriate to the song’s imagery. This song puts a smile on your face. Both scintillating and witty, the vocal harmonies are reminiscent of the Andrew Sisters of the 1940s. The musical painting sketched by the song’s content, sets the scene for the image of MotherLode Trio.
MotherLode Trio performs an excellent version of Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush.” They mention the Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt influence on their interpretation of the song. There is gorgeous high harmony and strong vocal delivery from a tightly blended harmonic framework. “Nightshift” is a bluesy rocker with a great acoustic guitar intro by Jeff Entin. The lyric is catchy, topical and humorous. There is a powerful unison vocal delivery from the trio. The musical content is focused and clear.
“Broken Love” is a Patti Pelican composition. The vocals are sensuous, soothing and perfectly blended. The trio again executes unison verse vocalizing that is tremendous. Jeff’s guitar work is superior and the answer/response lyrical passage is delightful. A beautiful country song, “Six Senses,” features Terry on lead vocals. The song is sincere and very heartfelt, with a delicious sonant delivery. The glistening vocal harmonies are sweetly soothing and caressing to the inner spirit.
“Bad Mutha Blues” is a Stacy Labriola composition. This boogie style tune is gutsy, raw and hot! The content is humorous and tough. The lyrics are totally motherhood. Jeff Entin executes an excellent acoustic blues guitar lead. This is the most spirited number of the set. “Are We There Yet” is a lively country swing composition from Stacy. The composition is bright and honest. The storyline is lively and enjoyable and very apropos for these mothers. The harmonies are tremendous and the song jumps!
MotherLode Trio puts on a fantastic show tonight. They put their genuine family experiences into the most ingenious and humorous musical compositions. Their superior harmonies, complemented by their endearing personal closeness, radiates throughout the performance. The originality of their compositions and the clever way they apply their real-life experiences to music is captivating. MotherLode Trio is original, enticing and different. Their performance is excellent and I hope to catch them again, real soon!
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