Alice DiMicele | 04.17.09 | Oregon

By: Reanna Feinberg

Alice DiMicele Band :: 04.17.09 :: Stillwater Bar :: Ashland, OR

Alice DiMicele
The music was of water, in topic and genetic make-up. Currents flowed over our skin in a continual wave and dipped into rapids that knew how to carve valleys out of rock, one intentional droplet at a time.

The Alice DiMicele Band delved into jazz heartbeats, folk grooves and cool striding funk born to paint the air of narrow city streets in Harlem. Until something burst open and rich earth-heavy blues and hippie revivals crumbled alleyways, leaving a writhing bowl of notes sweating and dancing beneath the surface, drawing the ocean back into the urban streets.

Alice DiMicele's deep, soulful vocal range seeped into original, inspired songs of nature and the heart, spread out as if funneled through brass. Her voice, like a warm breeze nudging alongside spring pushing it to summer, played me barefoot in a sunlit grass field while she sang with her guitar in the rough-edged, black leather personality of the Stillwater Bar. Leaning back, she peeled long howls from pursed lips with light inflections that threaded my eyebrows as if on string, pulling them awake. That rooted, she could have yelled at the top of her lungs and never sounded shrill, but only woken mountains.

Chanting the words, "It's a miracle," DiMicele handed the chorus over to the audience (a repeated practice during the night) to bathe bassist David Gelfand, whose birthday it was, in the remembrance of the immense unfathomable feats we accomplish with each breath-step of our existence, and waited to see what he did with it. He played the bass. Slowly at first, testing the water, feeling each chord stab the back of his throat with its own possibility, like cold water down the hatch after hours in the sun. Too much and he would have spewed that deep resonating rhythm all over the dancing masses chanting before him. Fortunately, he drank it slow. Bass echoes pooled in obsidian puddles until the earth suddenly gave way under their weight and poured a deep funky groove into the dark lit venue.

Jeff Pevar rode that wave, leaning back with his guitar as if about to break the back of a non-existent chair. Wrapping his hand over top of the instrument's arm, he slapped chords from above then returned to the standard underhand grip, plunging into waterfall torrents of strings as if it were all just another chord. Even a slide tool, locking a whole finger down, didn't keep his other digits in check; they just kept on playing around the high painted wails, stomping on whatever string they could find, soaking wet and looking for more puddles in which to splash.

I left shaking my head, spraying residual dew of the evening from my hair as if stepping, refreshed, from the shower, and walked into the half moon with my skin glistening under the echo of water parading as song on a woman's guitar and a voice of the earth.

Alice DiMicele tour dates available here.

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[Published on: 5/5/09]

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