She Said Yes
She Said Yes She Said Yes By Dean Marino Sometimes you just get lucky. I have never been one naturally graced with such things, but I must admit that every now and then I do stumble upon something I didn’t know I was looking for, and I am better off for it. A lucky find, if you will. I am not a regular music critic. In fact, I am not even a “regular Joe.” I don’t like mass marketed, over-hyped and over-played songs. I think that today’s radio play-lists are in a state of disarray and although the artists vary, the music is contrived and leaves me feeling just like the last song did. Bored. Unfulfilled. Ready to change the station. Imagine how horrified I am to go to local clubs and hear musicians trot out covers of these songs, or worse, their own creations that sound eerily similar. Imagine how delighted I was to be surprised. I was at The Rabbit Hole, Southeast Portland’s own New Orleans style underground scene last Saturday, when I heard some of the most honest and passionate music I have heard in quite some time. It was real and unpretentious, approachable and emotional. It was folky in a James Taylor meets Tori Amos kind of way. Two acoustic guitars and a piano, one singer with the sweetest voice this side of Sarah McLaughlin, and songs that delved deeper than a seventeen year-old’s perception of being in love. She Said Yes is southeast Portland’s contribution to music for the soul. Passionate and fiery one moment, flirtatious and playful the next, their songs weave a thread of commonality between us all. From the jazzy, humorous, and sexually-laced song “Cream” to the sweet three part harmonies of “Drowning,” I found myself not only enjoying the show, but wanting a copy of their six song sampler c.d. (entitled “half-live”) to take home with me. The tasteful playing of Ron Saltmarsh and Eric Wilson on guitars varied between artistically understated and powerfully enchanting. The addition of mesmerizing piano and breathtaking vocals by lead singer Laurie Wilson left me inspired. Their rapport with the crowd was humorous and disarming, and their stage décor sweetly eclectic. For two hours I was treated to true musicianship by this trio and, much too soon for my desire, the show ended. They closed the evening with a song called “Waiting by the Door” which they explained was about parting ways without saying goodbye and, with c.d. in hand and next show date and time memorized, I went home feeling lucky to have found something different. Something I wish there was more of. Something true. She Said Yes may never become mega-stars played on every radio station five times a day, but maybe… maybe that’s the point. For more about She Said Yes, including an upcoming show calendar, you can visit their web site at http://www.shesaidyes.net/