by Lauren Rosier
Independent country folk band, The Novel Ideas, delivered quite the performance at Milkboy on Saturday night.
The Boston five-piece, comprised of Daniel Radin (guitar/vocals), Sarah Grella (vocals), Danny Hoshino (guitar/pedal steel/vocals), James Parkington (bass guitar/vocals), and Karl Grohmann (drums), headlined a show presented by Bandade- a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to creating a community of musicians and fans alike in support of fighting cancer.
The quintet opened their 50-minute set with the first track, “I’m Not Waiting,” off their latest release, St. Paul Sessions. The live performance of this song was otherworldly. Never have I been affected by a single song the way I was with this one. The combination of the song’s lyrics and Grella’s flawless, emotional voice led me to all-over goosebumps and trembling so strongly, I tried hide it.
Despite a small crowd, the Novel Ideas received tons of love and a stellar crowd response as a result of delivering a heartfelt and captivating performance.
The band showcased their perfectly melded harmonies on “Mountain” and “Montana,” a song about one of Radin’s ex-girlfriends (and she didn’t realize it was about her). Songs like “Back And Forth” showcased the vocals of Danny Hoshino and the band’s country folk blend more than any other songs.
Both tracks highlight the band’s beautiful vocals and harmonies, as well as their songwriting skills from their emotional, raw lyrics. The way in which they’re able to weave different genres together delivers a sound that is strictly The Novel Ideas.
Philadelphia seven-piece, the Chris Paterno Band, centered the night of music with a set of songs that tapped into a mix of folk, funk, and soul in tracks like “Pressure,” “Morning Light,” and their latest single, “Unfaithful.” Channeling the roots of American music, the band is able to pull together elements rock, soul, blues, and folk music into a sound that single-handedly stands on its own.
The band recently finished their debut EP and is focusing on several summer dates with a single release every month. For a band that only formed in 2015, and with this being only their third show together, the cohesiveness of their live performance was impressive. The grittiness of Paterno’s vocals paved the way for the band’s bluesy, folksy, and soulful sound.
The songs “represent us pretty well,” Chris Paterno admitted. “[‘Unfaithful’] is the cornerstone of the EP. It’s got the drive, it’s got raw emotion, and the horns are huge. I think every song has that theme throughout. We’ve got horns, and we’ve got passionate vocals, weird guitar stuff going on, but also there’s a song for everybody, we’ve got a really emotional song that we didn’t play with a lot of space. And then we got this cover that we took an artist and flipped it on its head. It sounds nothing like the artist, it’s an afro-pop tune, with autotune vocals that’s really, very out there.”
Multi-instrumentalist Brian Fitzy opened the show with a short, yet impressive four-song set that showcased his many musical talents, from electric violin, bassist, to beatbox extraordinaire. “Sooner Or Later” is a pop-friendly, singer/songwriter track that pulls you in, while “Why Isn’t” features his truly incredible beat boxing abilities over top of classic musicianship. You’re not quite sure what to expect as Fitzy performs, but he completely wows you with his truly impressive capabilities that he displays during his live performance.
This was definitely a show that featured some of the best, up and coming musical talent; not only in the folk genre, but across genre lines. American roots music hasn’t disappeared. It’s strong, it has grown, and continues to evolve.