Rusty Belle Takes Us By Surprise
Venue: One Longfellow Square, Portland ME ~ December 19, 2013 ~
Jan 17, 2014
The sidewalks were frozen and everything had the pallor of a winter night as I arrived for this event. There was a nice crowd gathering, carrying their pints of Funky Bow Oatmeal Stout to their seats. Rusty Belle, opening act for Sorcha and the Clearing, arrived just before 8 o’clock. When they took the stage they said that they got stuck in traffic in Lowell, Massachusetts, on their way from Amherst. The concert started a bit late, but that was okay because Rusty Belle was like a national secret that escaped from wherever they’ve been hidden. Wow!
Brother and sister Matt and Kate Lorenz, and their friend, Zak Trajano, put on an incredible show. Matt and Zak are outstanding guitarists – Matt has that young, lean, curly-haired Dylan look, Zak has a wonderful thick black beard and fedora, and Kate has a playful, passionate persona with flashing dimples. They were all adorable.
Most notable was their gift for rhythm – Matt had a suitcase bass drum with pedals and other apparatus under his seat, and Kate played percussion standing between the two men. Their songs were engaging and charming. I hadn’t heard of them before this gig, had never heard their music, but what a treat! There were many fans familiar with their music in the audience.
I think I was most drawn in by the song, “Artesian Well.” It starts out “I’m gonna dig me a hole at the bottom of an Artesian well.” The song had haunting harmonies and lyrics, and really nailed the feeling of the suicidal misery of heartbreak. It included a great whistle solo by Matt.
“Devil in Your Smile” had the power of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower,” and their cover of “Sloop John B” made you forget you’d ever heard it by the Beach Boys.
“Red Dress” featured a hot tambourine and a scorchin’ guitar, and I imagine Kate would look mighty fine in a red dress. “I’m Alive” felt like an early Lennon/McCartney song.
They played with understatement and skill and were refreshing and original – in fact I would say they defy genre. They are ones to watch as they rise in influence, fame and fortune.
They ended their set with a playful music video of their song, “Change of Heart,” while they packed up their stuff. You can see it here and join the fun: Change of Heart. They look like awesome people, I wanna come over ‘n’ play!
You can visit their website at: rustybelle.com.
Press Photo from their website
For music lovers visiting Portland, Maine, I highly recommend
One Longfellow Square ~ "Portland's Premier Arts Venue"
Check them out at onelongfellowsquare.com.
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.
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