Friday, March 19, 2010

Great Acoustics + Full House = Command Performance by Mark Zane and Friends

Part Two: Onativia Church, LaFayette, NY

First Fridays at Onativia Church in LaFayette should not be missed. This lovely church provides the perfect stage, and Mark Zane brought his usual suspects with him to entertain on March 5th. Once again Mark packed the house and delighted us with his choice of covers and the originals we have come to love.

Bill Chernoff and Frankie Diamond accompanied Mark on guitar and provided engaging guitar leads throughout the night. We’ve come to anticipate an outstanding performance from Steve Pederson on bass; he never fails to live up to our expectations and was especially fun to watch at this performance, his bass notes clear and precise. Mary Snell added her lovely voice to several songs, giving us those goose bumps during the chorus of “Pink Houses”. When Mary and Mark sing “In Spite of Ourselves”, you forget for a moment that Iris DeMent and John Prine ever sang it. JimBob and another young man playing the ukulele helped Mark and Friends out on a rousing version of “Country Roads” that had most in the audience singing along, too. We enjoyed “Friend of the Devil” and “The Weight” very much, and sang Mark’s original “Walk it Off” as we headed to our car.

The hit of the evening? Every song rang true. It’s so wonderful to see a performance where those playing are comfortable, are enjoying themselves, are accomplished musicians and deliver a fine performance. Everything came together for this performance. It’s difficult to pick out a highlight of the evening; it seemed to be over too soon. We wanted to hear more and more and more.

If I had to pick a favorite song of the night, though, it would have to be Mark’s cover of “Hallelujah”. I never get tired of hearing him sing this. He always seems to get the words right. He nails it. And singing it at Onativia Church, where the acoustics are lovely and the words seem to swirl around the room with the notes chasing after them….the perfect song.

First Fridays at Onativia United Methodist Church in LaFayette. They pass the plate to pay the musicians. Be generous. They serve great desserts, too, for a donation. It’s a chance to hear great music without the noise of drunken laughter and loud conversations drowning out the music. Go. You’ll love it. Music starts at 7:00, goes until around 9:30. 6257 Dodge Road at the corner of Apulia Road. Just off Route 20. That cute little white church you always wondered about as you drove by. Well, check it out on First Fridays. You won’t be disappointed.

Put it on your calendar now – the First Friday of 2011 – Mark Zane and Friends will return. You’ll want to be a part of the full house then.

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