Live Music Review //
Aerodynamic Lee / Caleb Duval / Michael Larocca
Grant Beale / Emiliano López Reyes
Mackenzie Kourie / Caleb Duval / Jeff Dragan / Ben Eidson

March 11th, 2023
@ Willimantic Records, Willimantic CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

  This was our second time going to Willimantic Records this year for improvised music as we missed the previous installment in February due to snow.  One thing we are quickly learning about this scene in Connecticut (and surrounding areas) is that it's easy to get pulled into it because you can see any one of the musicians play in different ways.   Back in January, we saw Caleb Duval and Michael Larocca as a duo but this time around they were a trio.

The show opened with a quartet of Ben Eidson and Jeff Dragan on electronics, Caleb Duval on bass and Mackenzie Kourie on percussion.   This was the most people in one set this afternoon and also it was perhaps the loudest set of the day as well.  There were elements added by both Jeff Dragan and Ben Eidson that I cannot quite explain, but it made it feel like we were going further into those experimental/noise wavelengths.

Caleb Duval was on the bass and sometimes there were notes but other times there were chords.   This just added an overall layer to the sound of making it feel more full, more like thunder.  Combined with the drumming of Mackenzie Kourie, this just made it even louder and feel even more like an experimental rock band.  Mackenzie Kourie was playing so hard and fast that at two different times one of the drums fell over.

The duo of Emiliano López Reyes and Grant Beale was made up of Emiliano López Reyes on electronics and Grant Beale on guitar.  This was the only time this afternoon there wasn't drums and it was also the least amount of people playing at one time.  It had the quietest way about it for the overall set, though I'm not sure I'd call them quiet in comparison to other sounds outside of this show.  

Even though this was two people, I feel as if they are capable of standing on their own sounds in a solo set way and so putting them together just seemed to make it extra noisy.  Watching it felt obvious who was making what sound but if you heard it as a recording only you might not be so sure and I do enjoy that mystery about music as well.

The third and final set was the trio of Michael Larocca on percussion, Caleb Duval on bass and Aerodynamic Lee on guitar, vocals and flute.  Last time we saw Michael Larocca and Caleb Duval as a duo they had more of an experimental sound (and they have a CD out there) but this was more like a band in a sense.  

I've been listening to a lot of hippie music recently (shoutout Shirese) so that might be affecting me as well, but hearing this sound just made me feel like it was somewhere between Jimi Hendrix and George Clinton.  It definitely had that psychedelic way about it that my parents would've really been into, but there was some other layer that made it seem like more than that as well.

One of my favorite parts of this set as well was just how well everyone played together.  In music in general, it can feel at times like people within the same band are doing different things.  But during this set, it felt like all three musicians were on the same page.  They were all synced up in a way that you can't teach through school or music lessons and just somehow have to have that talent built into you.  

Overall this show just really felt like it was full of musicians who are the best at what they do.  Seeing any of them in a solo set or any other combination of them would also be recommended, but the way they came together in this formation on this Saturday just truly felt like something special.  

Willimantic Records can be found here and here :::

Aerodynamic Lee can be found on the web here :::

Caleb Duval can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Michael Larocca can be found on Bandcamp here:::

Grant Beale can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Emiliano López Reyes can be found on Instagram here :::

Mackenzie Kourie can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Links to Ben Eidson :::

Links to Jeff Dragan :::


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