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Hope for a Golden Summer CD release show at The Earl,
with Telegram, Hope for a Golden Summer, The Hellblinki Sextet
March 2004

Personally, I was voting for the Big City Burlesque show at 9 Lives on the same night, but the rest of the crew wanted thoughtful music over naked girls so I gave in and met everyone at The Earl. We wound our way into the music room to find it half full already. Apparently all three bands had fans, friends and family there so the place filled up quickly.

Telegram came on doing quiet, intense music that reminded me a bit of Sting and Sade. I couldn't help but picture Will Farrell's whispered introduction of Sting from a recent TV appearance (the Oscars, perhaps?)
But despite my initial hesitation, they won me over with heartfelt lyrics and occasionally rising above the quiet tone to raucous highs. Definitely worth seeing.
They had a 5 song CD for a mere $5 and have a full length album due out in May, if I remember correctly.

The ladies from Hope for a Golden Summer brought out some extra chairs so a bunch of folks could sit through the show instead of having to stand all evening. For a quiet show like theirs, sitting is preferred.

Unfortunately, this meant it was difficult to slip around and get a lot of pictures, so I only ended up with one decent photo and it only shows the sisters and the bored-looking drummer. Too bad too 'cause a good percentage of the enjoyment of the show is watching the band. Claire and Paige have marvelous smiles and it's obvious the entire group really enjoys what they do.

Their sound is tough to describe. Like Telegram, it's quiet yet intense. But Telegram does this with only three instruments. Hope does it with an often-changing variety of instruments from accordion to xylophone and a whole bunch in between. The girls' voices shift from low, sensual drones to high, lilting song and the whole package reminds me of Smoke, the local act formerly headed by Benjamin.

 

The girls even brought their parents up to sing an old Ralph Stanley tune, which they performed a capella, and  beautifully.

Hope for a Golden Summer's CD, I Bought a Heart Made of Art in the Deep, Deep South, does a wonderful job of replicating the charm of their live act, minus the pretty visuals, so definitely get it as soon as you can get yer grubby hands on it.

Last up, The Hellblinki Sextet from Augusta, GA. Three of their members were missing in action so the lead singer tossed out a bunch of noisemakers so the crowd could make up for it.
They call themselves "a self-styled pirate blues band" and play tunes that would fit in well with former local clown/circus act Greasepaint. More upbeat than Hope, but definitely still offbeat.
The lead singer played guitar and drums simultaneously, giving it sort of a one-man-band feel. I'd like to catch them with the other three members one of these days.
They even performed a waltz or two, encouraging the crowd to dance. Some of the members of Hope gladly participated.

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