Sirius Coyote at Sweet Harmony's Coffeehouse

Sirius Coyote

 

Sweet Harmony's Coffeehouse, April 13, 2002:

 

       I make the two-hour drive north to the town of Marbledale, Connecticut. It is very rural in these parts and gives you the feel of an old New England village. The countryside has long winding roads, narrow old bridges and farms that adorn the landscape. I actually find the place rather easily after asking directions at a local bar on the New Milford turnpike.

       The coffee house fills up with local fans and patrons as the 8:00 P.M. curtain approaches. The band, Sirius Coyote, runs through the sound check as Kathleen evaluates all the levels. The band is: Giovanni Ciarlo on guitar, percussion and vocals; Kathleen Sartor on percussion and vocals; Dennis Waring on tenor & soprano saxophones and flute; Ed Witkin on piano, guitar, banjo, concertina and vocals; and John Marshall on drums and percussion. They are going to feature material from their newest release “Todo Lo Bueno” which means, "All Good Things."


    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       The opening tune is the first track on their latest CD called “Delta Lullaby.” The music is bright and upbeat with a calypso feel. Dennis is featured on African flute, John is on tambourine and Riq drum, Ed is on acoustic guitar, Giovanni and Kathleen are on tenor and bass Kalimba. This is a great upbeat opening tune. The second song is “Way Way Tango” which has a slow intro moving into a strong Latin tempo. John is on drums with Pro Mark / Hot Rods (gathered heavy duty brushes) for a lighter stroke effect. Dennis is on tenor saxophone, Ed on Roland RS-5 piano, Giovanni on an ElectroAcustic nylon string acoustic guitar and Kathleen on percussion. Kathleen plays two drums: a small drum called an Ashiko drum and a larger drum called a Bombo drum, which she strikes with large mallets. Dennis plays the melody line on the tenor and Ed takes a fine solo on piano. The superior musicianship continues to exhibit itself as the band falls into their groove.


    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Song three is “Todo Lo Bueno Se Acaba,” all good things come to an end, but all bad things too. Kathleen handles the intro and John is on Darrabucca drum. This drum is unique in its succinct treble tones along the edge and round mellow bass tones in the middle of the skin. The drum has quite an interesting and versatile percussion sound. Giovanni is on lead vocals and Ed takes a fine melodic piano solo. John is extremely inventive on percussion and trap set, all with his hands. He even utilizes a foot tamborine. The next tune is a Samba, which inspires people to dance. The song has a kickin’ drum intro with whistle accents. John has excellent brushwork on the drums. This is a very spirited band ensemble tune. The band urges people to dance, which they do. The band continues to play exceptionally inspired music. Song five is “Rica Samba.” This tune has a slow mysterious intro featuring percussion and piano. There is ensemble unison singing with flute flourishes. The piano solo crescendo over the mysterious Latin melody is complemented by the flute, which floats above all of the musical sounds below.


    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       The next song “Looking For Buscando,” is a musical recollection from Dennis about being lost in the mountains after sunset. The tune has a lively acoustic guitar intro, mysterious and moody, with percussion and cymbal rushes. Dennis on tenor takes the melody lead and excellent solo. A major / minor key sound is employed here with tom-toms and wood blocks giving it a marching feel. The next song is “African Fete,” which is a cover of a native African song. Dennis arranged this number. Drums are strong with Kathleen striking the Bombo drum with those large mallets. This tune has a calypso feel with saxophone flourishes. The next tune is “Faceless Waltz.” During a revolution, we cover our faces so no one knows who we are. Excellent song indeed!  The next tune is “La Iguana,” which is a spirited tune with musical hi-jinx. John is on brushes and Kathleen on the Bombo drum. John and Kathleen compliment each other on the drums and percussion very well. Their sound combines into a nice mix of percussive tonal blending. Everyone joins in the chorus on this lively ¾ time tune. This song is bright, spirited and an exceedingly inspired dance tune. The next tune is “Coyote Jump” which is a Reggae tempo, slow and staggered. The tenor sax is bright and strong.  Kathleen is on the Ashiko drum and Ed’s piano solo has an island effect like a steel drum. The form is a staccato verse to a slick melodic change with a soothing tenor melody line.


    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       The next musical entry “Horizonte” is about the beautiful environment. Kathleen is playing a woodblock, while John utilizes Latin tempo brushwork. Song twelve is “Atlantis” with Giovanni on Berimbau, an ancient bowed instrument. Ed is on banjo, Kathleen on Kalimba and Dennis on PVC flute. We are now in the jungle. The band’s musical sound takes us out to nature. The song has a long and interesting narration accompanied by all jungle sounds. This is the most nature-like sound of the evening. John is on percussion, maracas and shaker while Denis’s flute floats overhead. Then, double time kicks in and the banjo sings. The next song is a spirited dance along. By now the audience is totally inspired and dancing abounds. Everyone is up as the tremendous musical sound has inspired even the quiet ones to jump and shout! The next musical entry is another superior Reggae tempo song called “Levantate.” This is followed by “Zum Zum,” which again shows the exceptional musicianship and spirit. An encore song is another bright dance tune with the soprano sax, Bombo drum and John’s sharp and succinct percussion on the Darrabucca drum.


    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Sirius Coyote puts on some kind of amazing show here tonight. I can readily imagine that they do this each and every time they perform live. I encourage anyone who can, to catch Sirius Coyote live, whenever they get the opportunity. They are unique, inspiring, authentic and exceptional musicians.


    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro


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A.J. Alfaro

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