Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear Friends: An Evening With The Foreign Exchange

by The Foreign Exchange

I've been listening to the CD that came with this CD + DVD package for a while now, but today was the first that I've felt like sitting down and watching the Dear Friends concert, which was recorded in front of a small audience in the intimate Sound Pure Studios back in February.  The concerts consists of ten songs, mostly from the FE catalogue, although there is one from Zo!'s album, another from Nicolay's, and a cover of a James Taylor classic.

Phonte and Nicolay are joined for this concert by vocalists Sy Smith and Jeanne Jolly.  Zo! plays the piano, and there are a couple more guitarists and a drummer backing them.  The music here is as warm and inviting as Phonte's voice and stage manner.  Smith is radiant; I could watch her (and listen to her laugh) all day.  I was quite surprised to realize just how much Phonte looks like the actor Wendell Pierce, from The Wire and Treme.  I kept waiting for Antoine Baptiste to come wandering onto the stage with his trombone, to steal the show.

Strangely, the CD has more banter than the concert DVD, but both are deserving of repeated plays.  I love the hillbilly version of 'Daykeeper', which Phonte explains came out of a desire to keep from getting sick of what is probably their best-known song.

No comments: