UPDATE: See You Tube link at the end …
Here's one suggestion for a perfect summer evening: spend a few balmy hours out on the patio of a local coffeehouse in the company of friends (and your lover) while you listen to some of Pittsburgh's talented chica singer-songwriters, collectively known as the Riveting Rosies.
I was feeling rather nosy
so I thought that I would go see
the most Riveting of Rosies
the stage was kind of cozy
There's more than one singer of these lyrics that keeping running through my mind.
The most I seek my music locally the closer I am to fine …
Better keep my day job, huh?
Seven women filled the stage with more than an evening's worth of melody, harmony and memory. The Rosie's include:
Tracy Drach – after a few bars of her first song, I immediately thought of that perfect moment in the morning when you caress your first cup of coffee — rich and strong with just a hint of cream. The kind of java that you need to drink so it can sustain you through the rest of the day. That's what I thought about. I also thought that Tracy's voice is exactly how I sound in my head when I belt out my favorite tunes.
Stacy Mates – She sang this really unique love song about hating Ohio. It worked. Here's what I noticed about Stacy — she sang harmony on just about every song the others performed and she was really good. Good as in transforming a good song into a really great performance.
Patty Spinner – I kept thinking I knew her songs or maybe I just should know them. I wrote in my notes (yes, I carry a notepad with me to capture bloggable moments) “fuses good rhythmic guitar with interesting lyrics.” She's moving away which is a pity b/c she has this whole package of good songs, good instrumentation (is that the right word?) and a good voice. Plus, she played the washboard. How cool is that?
Heather Kropf – Heather played the keyboard at the back of the stage, so she was sort of this mysterious goddess voice speaking from the midst of the Rosies. She had a really rich and polished voice. She also was incredibly gracious about lifting up her talented friends. I bought one of her CDs. I expect it to be good.
Janet Ingram – Janet had a great dress on. I know that seems like a shallow thing to observe, but I just had to put that out there. Janet was wry and funny. She writes some cool stuff, especially a great song about actually liking Pittsburgh. That alone gives her a kajillion bonus points in my book. I would love a copy of that song.
Sue Gartland – Another irrelevant note: Sue has an uncanny resumblance to my sister-in-law Candace. So I was disposed to really like her from the get go. She did not disappoint. She has a rich, charismatic voice and really delightful lyrics. She had a super fun song about fast food that really transported me right to my childhood. I was disappointed that she didn't have a CD.
And, finally, there's Eve Goodman. You may recall that we really like Eve's music. It has just been a little over a year since we met her and her also very cool significant other. We've had the good fortune to get to know them a bit which just adds to the pleasure of listening to her perform. What struck me the most last night was what a wicked guitar player she is. She played the entire evening and the other performers gave her multiple shout outs for her improvisations. She is seriously really good. Really. The other thing that struck me was how much she was enjoying herself.
My only wish would have been for the performers to reconstruct an unexpected song, much like Mary Chapin Carpenter and friends during their “Singer-Songwriter” tour a few years ago. I think her group did a folk take on a boy band song. As I was composing this, Blondie comes on the radio. I'd love to hear Dreaming or maybe I Love Rock and Roll or even I Wanna Be Sedated. Maybe I'm weird, but I think it would be fun. (Please no Beatle songs. Thank you.)
It was a really nice evening. The weather was great. The crowd was mellow. Yes, there were a few less than perfect moments. The menu was really limited which was a bummer because we had to get there super early to get a seat. The opening act (Prickly Pear?) was just so-so, but drew this really large group of people with toddlers and preschoolers. It was like a conference of yuppies with poor parenting skills. The kids were cute, but unruly. Their parents were not so cute, especially those who were actually pouting because they couldn't find a seat. One woman plopped her toddler down on the pathway between the kitchen and the patio, taking umbrage when the chef politely asked her to move. Jesus.
Plus, this is the second venue we've been to where the hummus is not accompanied by pita or anything crispy. Just veggies. Ironically, the Quiet Storm (veggie heaven) does serve pita. What's up with that?
The Riveting Rosie's are definitely worth an evening of your time. Or two. You'll have a good time. And you'll support local music. Do it.
UPDATE: I found an excerpt of the Mary Chapin Carpenter Singer/Songwriters Tour. And, yes, it includes a few moments of their rendition of “I Want It That Way.” So without further ado …