Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Week in the Company of the Queen: Live & Lots of Local

OK, this is way late for a post, but I couldn’t get these guys out of my head. So…here’s my summary of one week of music, featuring love for fantastic local musicians and props for the love being shown to them by World CafĂ© Live at the Queen (WCLQ).

Event #1: Open Mic Tuesday
I headed out with some gal pals to the 6:30pm performance at WCLQ (500 N. Market Street, Wilmo) and enjoyed earfuls of awesomeness that covered nearly every genre from musicians of every background.   Lead-off for the night was a performer who wowed us with an incredible 10-minute set of African drumming and song.  I wish I remembered his name, but when I find it, I WILL let you know!  Following him, the Mosaic String Duo of guitarists Chris Braddock and Doug Seth gave us a rousing performance and a tour around the globe with their original music.   Touching on Spanish, classical, even “bluegrassy” influences, they had the crowd clapping, cheering and whooping it up during their entire set.  I hope they make a return visit to Upstairs Live very soon!  Also amazing that night was WCLQ regular, pianist/vocalist Noelle Picara, who I heard performs for happy hour on Fridays Upstairs Live as well.


Event #2: Free Noontime Concerts
Another girlie pal and I met at WCLQ on a Friday afternoon for nosh (note: try the eggplant fries…YUM) and nuttiness from the ultimate “dork rock” duo, Hot Breakfast!  The pairing of Jill Knapp and Matt Casarino kept the packed room dancing in the streets…I mean, seats…for a great lunchtime break.  Their wacky set included songs like The Hole in Your Pants and epic covers of classic tunes from The Buggles (Video Killed the Radio Star) and Bonnie Tyler (Total Eclipse of the Heart).  This duo are as hilarious as they are talented…Yes, Breakfast is great for lunch!

Follow them @hotbreakfast

Event #3: Six Voices, One Piano
My final trip to WCLQ was a benefit for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.   It highlighted not only great vocalists, but also the continued benevolence of one in particular: Joe Trainor.  He organized the event and gathered a stellar line-up that starred Noelle Picara (who wowed us earlier at Open Mic Night), Leslie Carey, Brian Diltz, Gina Degars, Angela Sheik and Trainor himself.  The stark set and lone keyboard drew you in to their raw talent…wouldn’t it be nerve-wracking to perform just you and your piano?  Offering up both original music (Angela Sheik debuted a song called Good Year) and covers, their performances were effortless and soothing and powerful.   I know I’ve said this before, but I love to watch Joe perform.  He takes you on a emotional trip inside his own songs and practically transforms himself into whoever he’s covering---Billy Joel, the Beatles, you name it.  You’re really missing something special, in both talent and compassion, if you’ve never seen him.

Follow the Joe Trainor Trio @JTTrio

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