One of the best kept secrets in local music has to be the First Friday concerts at Onatavia Church in LaFayette. We were lucky enough to catch Donna Colton there in July. As Donna herself put it, it’s a “listening audience”. This alcohol-free environment lends itself to truly hearing the music. Donna, Sam and drummer Julius were brilliant. We felt as though we were hanging out in someone’s living room, just chatting and jamming. It was delightful.
I tend to get nervous when singers cover Joni Mitchell, especially songs from her Blue album, my absolute favorite. Usually I find that other singers try too hard to imitate and fail miserably. The talented Ms. Colton knows better and made “Carey” her very own, wrapping the lyrics and melody around her voice until you convinced yourself that Joni Mitchell had never sung a note of it. I was mesmerized and enraptured. I’ve played the Tryst CD so often at the camper, I’m fearful I’ll need to buy a second one as I’m wearing this one down.
If you have the chance to see Donna Colton and the Troublemakers, you’ll never be disappointed. And, please, I urge you to make the trip to this tiny little white church off the beaten path on a first Friday of the month to hear some music. Mark Zane will play there next March, Dana “Short Order” Cooke in November. The intimacy is lovely. They serve homemade desserts and pass the collection plates (that’s how the musicians get paid) and you can sit back and enjoy some of Central New York’s best musicians