Saturday, May 12, 2007

Black Audience, and Legendary Jim Ruiz Band: West Bank Hits Entry

Wednesday night was filled with cool surprises as I was reminded by luck that married friends Robin Kyle and Jayanthi were performing their new band Black Audience formed per the request of Jim Ruiz at the Entry. If you were lucky enough to see them earlier in the year before they became a bona fide band with a name at places such as Palmers, you knew you were in for a treat. This evening, Jayanthi led her band featuring Mike Gunther on keys, Robin Kyle on guitar, Luke Kyle on bodran, Doug Anderson on banjo and bones, and a great harmony singer and harp player, with her ultra-strong, smooth vocals. She belted out gospel and old-time and traditional songs, including a cover of Harry Belafonte's "Darling Cora", "Wayfaring Stranger", "Queen Jane", "Down by the Riverside, and "This Train". Jayanthi's great voice along with harmonies, a wicked percussion section and fine melodies, sent chills down the spine, and made the heart swell. It was indeed as Robin described, "like a hootenanny with a great lead singer." I and many of their friends were on hand to witness the spellbinding spectacle that is Black Audience. We beg them to play more, and they promise they will. Robin and Jayanthi inform me their next gig is Sinners Strip Joint. They'll sing gospel for the ladies. I'll try and keep you posted on more to come.

I and many others attending had never seen Jim Ruiz' band, which last performed six years ago. Longing for descriptions of this legendary band drawing innumerable fans and curious new listeners from the West Bank and outer regions, we got answers like, "'80s Scottish Pop. Jazz, bossa nova, happy songs about death." Curioser and curioser. When I heard the Legendary Jim Ruiz band, I got it. All the above were apt descriptions indeed. Nice light, energetic '80s euro-pop with bossa nova rhythms with some fine jazz riffs in between. Kim Anderson's xylophone was the perfect accompaniment in spirit and style. Great harp-player Clint Hoover joined on a couple songs. Sweet, happy songs about the death of the Viking Bar, and Jim's bike "Schwinn, Schwinn, Schwinn Continental" gave everyone the warm fuzzies, and sweet memories and hopes for a future of more Jim Ruiz performances.

1 comment:

Chungsiew O said...

Wow... It's really remarkable.