I’m going to use the word “adorable” here and I don’t mean it in a condescending chin-chuck, pat on the head way.
On Tuesday night something truly wonderful happened at Teatro Zuccone and it was adorable. But it was also fresh, heart-warming and funny. It was a nostalgia trigger as well as a glimpse of the future of the local music scene that the Music Resource Center is helping to shape. It was music at its purest, without the distraction of irony or show just for show.
“We wrote this song when we were little,” one of the girls would announce, getting chuckles from the audience.
Brown Eye Blue Eye, a trio that includes two tweens and a teen, is perhaps the youngest band to play Homegrown Music Festival — and second generation music heads. The ladies are Dylan Hatten, 13, and Jesse Hatten, 11, the daughters of late-Tangier 57 member Doug Hatten and Galalee Wright, 11, is the daughter of musician Adeline Wright, wife and backup singer for Rachael Kilgour. (News Tribune reporter Mike Creger’s story is here).
The acapella trio sang their own songs about boys, being alone forever, having the weight of the world on their shoulders. They share songwriting duties. Sometimes Galalee Wright backed them on piano and for one song they included choreography. They covered Ingrid Michaelson, with Wright confessing they just learned the song two days ago. Sometimes they would start a song, flub something, wonder if they should start again, take a quick vote and get “No” and then start where they left off.
At one point they announced that it was their friend Grace’s birthday — they thought she was in the audience — and led everyone in “Happy Birthday” even after they realized she wasn’t there. (The girls adding a charming “And many more” at the finish).
The theater, which holds about 80 people, probably busted past capacity. Brown Eye Blue Eye got a standing ovation and responded to the call for an encore with a Homegrown specific song that thanked the music festival.They hammed their way off stage with air kisses.
They sounded great with their harmonization and Jesse Hatten belted out solos and Dylan Hatten’s songwriting made you wonder what you were doing at age 13 and why wasn’t it this? Wright is a real charmer and cracked up the audience with her stage banter.
More often than not, someone in the audience was wiping away at the eyeball spillage that comes from seeing kids do something well while simultaneously having fun. It was definitely something to see.
Grandma’s Sports Garden is an old venue, but new to Homegrown Music Festival. Hattie & Her Man Band started off a four-band bill Tuesday night. Singer-songwriter Hattie Peterson filled the room with her big soulful and emotional voice and ripped away at her yellow guitar. She was backed by Matt Mobley on bass and Dave Frankenfeld on drums. Peterson, a 15-year veteran of the music scene, had a real rock star presence and slowly the crowd, which had created a rind around the dance floor, moved in closer to shake it.
This band has serious draw power. I’m surprised we don’t see them play out more often. And maybe we won’t. Peterson ended her set with “I guess we’ll see you next year.
The Boomchucks followed with it’s country-lean and songs about growing up in the Central Hillside. Jamie Ness sings, pulls a harmonica out of his pocket, dusts it off and plays. Brad Nelson was on drums. The local-favorite finished its set with “Maggie’s Farm,” a Dylan cover — they’re known for these — and Neil Young’s “Out on the Weekend.”
Big Wave Dave & the Ripples is a big fancy band with eight members dressed in suits, including a four-man horn section. They might be dressed like they have a knack for paperwork, but they make this great big funk sound that is really exciting. Dave Adams, in sunglasses, is the singer and he’s joined by Alex Piazza on bass, Dave Mennes on drums, Peter Knutson on guitar, Patrick Sunderland on trumpet, Alex Nordehn on trombone , Steve Rogers on tenor sax and Matt Wasmund on baritone sax. They play a regular Thursday night gig at The Rex. In one of their final songs, they busted out “Cool Jerk,” a song from the 1960s resurrected in the 1980s by the GoGos. They definitely gave Belinda, etc., a run.