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Winterbloom, Fragrant and Fair

Venue: One Longfellow Square Portland, ME ~ December 13, 2012 ~

Jan 13, 2013

Kimmy Sophia Brown

I went to see Winterbloom – which is a kind of ad hoc holiday band made up of Antje Duvekot, Natalia Zuckerman, Anne Heaton and Meg Hutchinson. They drew a nice crowd of people looking to feed that longing for meaningful holiday music.

From their opening notes, and their body language, I could see they have unique musical styles that are joined together with love and humility to create the miracle of Winterbloom. Where should I begin? First, each one of them is beautiful.

The shining Antje Duvekot, is sort of a facsimile of Forties film star, Maureen O’Hara – large luminous eyes, a tall, yet delicate presence, both fragile and strong. She played guitar, and interestingly, even though she is the tallest, she had the highest voice.

The Celtic looking Anne Heaton has magnificent bone structure, like an elegant queen, and embodies power and strength, aglow with the bright aura of pregnancy. She played keyboards.

Winterbloom: Natalia Zuckerman, Antje Duvekot, Meg Hutchinson, Anne Heaton

The earthy and sweet-faced Meg Hutchinson has eyes full of great warmth and affection. She looks like she has a sympathetic ear, and the kind of heart which comforts and enfolds the other. She had the lowest voice and plays guitar.

Natalia Zuckerman is petite and has a fiery, complex and strong presence. She played bass during many of the songs, as well as guitar. She has a beautiful face like a goddess, a sultry voice and conveys a deep heart. Her Jewish roots were evident, especially when she playfully imitated her grandmother’s Yiddish accent. 

I loved being in their presence. They exuded the joy of friendship, as well as musicianship. Their harmonies pulled at my emotions and their voices blended in a haunting and longing manner. This was not just a Christmas show in the traditional sense. They sang a collection of known and unknown songs.

I think my personal favorite was a Yiddish folk song called “The Riddle,” which in Yiddish is, “Tumbalalaika.” Natalia Zuckerman, who learned it from her grandmother, introduced it. What is it about the longing minor key of Yiddish folk songs? Oy! I can’t even explain what I mean. It’s something about suffering and joy at the same time. They also played favorites like “O Holy Night,” and “The Water is Wide,” as well as individual compositions.

They ended with Antje leading her pals and all of us in a Christmas carol from her native Germany; “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (“Silent Night”). The audience joined in and we ended this lovely evening singing together. All was calm and all was bright. They sold CDs in the lobby after the show, one of which was “Winterbloom: Traditions Rearranged”. This show was two weeks before Christmas, and I’m so glad I went. You can visit their website at winterbloom.com.

Press Photo by Asia Kepka, Market Monkeys

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.

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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