“I have a shipwreck fetish you could say,” blurted out the mostly quiet singer of the Wingdale Community Singers. Nina Katchadourian was attempting to explain the inspiration for one her songs, “Castaway”. The song itself was solemn and technical and soaked in old time sorrow. In fact most of Singers’ repertoire on Monday night at the Mercury Lounge was entirely old fashioned yet entirely contemporary—it was creaky and aged while chronicling contemporary Brooklyn life. Despite the group’s tacit reverence for their trade’s history, and their craft, most song’s were innately funny. Lead singer Hannah Marcus grieved an old Les Paul guitar on “Les Paul” and grieved further on “Tears in My Tequila” with vocalist and guitarist Rick Moody. However the mood was light, enabling the group’s finally coalescing vocal lines to suspend briefly during “Willing Sense of Disbelief”. Unfortunately their casual, both-hands-on-the-lap harmonies were rough around the edges more often then not, leaving one desiring a bit more. Thankfully the vigor of their last number, “Rock of Ages”, sung to “This Land is Your Land”, pushed their four-part harmonies into tune while they patronized the exploitation of natural treasures.
Later in the night the
latin world music collective Las Rubias del Norte livened up the musical offerings. Jumping continents, languages, and genres the group seemed all over the place (we’re talking Peru, Chile, Venezuela, India, France, Greece) while never really straying indiscernibly from their heavily Latin roots. Lead singer Alyssa Lamb was a true siren whose harmonies with Emily Hurst were clear as glass (despite the latter suffering from a winter cold). Las Rubias’ set provided a livening pickup to an otherwise calm but beautiful evening.
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article