07 August 2023

Party time

Now this was fun.  Richard M was to play at Debbie's birthday party.  I'm not sure how he knew Debbie but this was a personal friend so he was to attend regardless.  I wasn't up to playing, then Mike got sick and James wasn't available and in the end I played.  I got there early enough for the first band.  I walked in as a stranger carrying a double bass which worked a treat.  This was Debbie herself in the lounge singing with 2 other women and I was impressed!  Three vocals in lovely harmony, Carmel singing melody, Debbie a third above, Therese the fifth below.  Melding beautifully on Leonard Cohen Alleluia with chordal guitar and some adventurous excursions to end.  Then just one or two other tunes, sharing the lead vocals.  I don't remember which tunes but they were well known and delightfully sung, each with its own inventions, perhaps with a sharply tuned djembe and a convincing groove, and Carmel had a small keyboard, but not sure how that was used.  But those vocals just touched me; they were sharp and accurate and sweet and the songs glowed with joy and life.  Lovely.  The trio was called Gracenotes.  I look up their FB page and there are pics from concerts at the High Court, Folk Fest, NPG, Smiths, The Bunker, Major's Creek and more so they get around.  After a break Richard and I played a sax/bass duo.  I always seem to enjoy duos.  This one was open and clear with no chords but demanding to hold complex times and bass solos are pretty sparse, but a great pleasure and we had a few up dancing, so a nice outing all around with a drink and snack or two and some cheerful chats.  Great night and lovely to hear Gracenotes.

Gracenotes are Carmel McDonell (vocals, keys), Therese Knight (vocals, guitar) and Debbie Kable (vocals, djembe).  Richard Manderson (tenor) and Eric Pozza (bass) also played a duo set.

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