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Enthralling Performance by Ameranouche

Venue: One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME ~ August 24, 2013 ~

Sep 1, 2013
Kimmy Sophia Brown

Ithad been a while since we hadventured out for a concert,so the idea of hearing some gypsy jazz was just the thing. Wefound that One LongfellowSquare had set up tables and chairs which created a cozy cabaret feeling. We found seats but the place filled up quickly, and soon three men took the stage.

The lead guitarist was astrongly built man named Richard Sheppard, who seemed like he had been playing guitar since he was a little boy. Jack Soref was a quick-fingeredman with a gentle soul, who played mostly rhythm guitar,although he and Richard traded off throughout the evening. Michael Harrist looked young but turned out to be an extremely capable stand-up bassist.

Theshow was vigorous and hypnotic. Original tunes and standards flowed into a kind of gypsy-manouche-lava of music. Among them was “Brazil”and “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, which they mentioned was George Harrison’s favorite song. Therewere songs and rhythms ala Antonio Carlos Jobim, as well as Django Reinhardt, and many lovely songs penned by RichardSheppard.

Peter and I had justfinished a long, hard day and found ourselves closing our eyes and flying off into a string-induced dream-scape. The more they played, the more united, joyful and intuitive they became. That kind of music takes on a life of its own which is thoroughly experiential. The band responds to the audience, the audience responds to the band, and the intense rhythms become the bower of an almost supernatural journey.

Richard is anaggressive, percussive guitarist, his fingers are like little hammers; and the group was like a small flock of birds, flying this way, that way, back again, far away, melding and separating, settling in trees, flying off, and then settling again. Peter thought he was the fastest guitarist he had ever heard.

The music reminded meof dark wood, dark red wine, smoky fires, and at times felt train-like. Then it was suddenly over. We emerged from our trance and felt like we were floating six inches above the floor. We drove home and I wondered, was that a dream? They were incredible!

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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