Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Acoustically Speaking: Frankie & Bain

I've been thinking about what makes me smile whenever I see Frankie Lombardi and Bain Beakley perform in their duo, Acoustically Speaking, on the Sarasota live music scene. Here are some musings taken from recent sightings at Sarasota Vineyard on Saturday night; at the Siesta Key Farmers Market last Sunday morning; and at The Hub Baja Grille on Siesta Key last evening.

For one thing, it's always fascinating to see/hear "multi-instrumentalism" in action. While Frankie Lombardi is a world-class drummer (see previous posts in this blog about his inspiring wizardry on the skins), in Acoustically Speaking he gets to showcase an entirely different set of skills: his passionate vocals and soulful guitar leads. He's also an accomplished songwriter and producer as is evident on his CD "Shank Songs". One tune that slays me every time is the exquisite "Smile":

In the case of Bain, even when he's crooning a heartbreaker of a love song -- and he packs a number of those in his set list -- he projects such cheerful, playful energy onstage that it almost doesn't matter what the lyrics are, it's simply uplifting to listen to him project his distinctive powerful vocals across the room.

It's a curious phenomenon, two friendly, happy guys singing about love's ups and many downs without a trace of chip on either shoulder. Their communication musically is fluid, as they riff off each other, weaving harmonies and lead breaks through each song.

And you'd think seeing them play three days in a row might make for Bain/Frankie fatigue, but it doesn't. It's always fun, and they're a welcome addition to Sarasota nightlife in a Season that saw fewer gigs by bands that rocked the house last year.

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