I was very pleased with all the great music I heard at the Vintage Lounge in Levittown on Ladies Center Stage night. Vinnie Dimarco continues to cement his reputation for putting together solid shows with well- matched bands and solo performers.
Kathy Fleischmann was the first to perform. She played a fine set of original songs that were rich in melody and lyric detail. She did great renditions of "14th Floor", "Iowa" and "Eyes Like Natalie Wood" from her most recent CD, Unresolved. She also played a few new songs. "Tulsa", inspired by a photo essay, was a vivid song of life on the streets. "Erasing Me Away", about how desperate a person can feel trying to continue a relationship when they know it's over, was another standout. She also treated us to a slow, moody rendition of the REM classic, "The One I Love". Kathy connects with the audience because she's comfortable on stage and she sings from the heart of the song.
Patti Marone was up next. Frank Walker accompanied her on guitar. Patti began her set with a few original songs from her CD, Myopic Melodies. It's easy to see that Patti enjoys singing catchy love songs, from her originals like "I Still Wait" and "Childhood Sweethearts", to well-chosen cover songs "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "Be My Baby". Patti was in fine voice. She and Frank harmonized very well together on a number of songs. When she grabbed a guitar for "Heart of Hope" and a Joe Rock song called "The Life I Choose", Frank had the opportunity to play some tasty lead guitar while Patti took over the rhythm duties. She ended her set with a Tom Cavanaugh song, "Looking Back".
The Blaque Rose Project is a five piece band with a heavy, somewhat dark sound. Lead vocalist Jennifer has the perfect voice for this band. Slow brooding guitar arpeggios built into hard-rock choruses. Jennifer handled the soft sections and the loud, heavy-with-crunch-guitar sections with equal ease. "Run" and "Let Go" were especially strong songs that fit this mold. It's always great to hear a band that understands how to use dynamics to build a song's intensity. The guitarist played melodic solos that fit the songs well, no empty shredding here. The last song of their set "Carry Her up to the Dark" was also very strong.
One True Thing ended the night with an electrifying performance. They truly rocked the house. Lead singer Melanie Wills was emotional and engaging. This four piece band has been together in various forms since 1990, and the commitment these musicians have to their music comes across. All of the songs were well- written and tightly played. The band had great stage presence, especially front-woman Melanie. They made great use of dynamics, had inventive arrangements, and played with 100 percent focus. "Greasy Jungle" and "I'll Wait" were especially good. They ended their set with another fine song "Tired". Solid, energetic, professional - this is a very cool band.