With Willy Street under construction, the vibrant community around Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse could use a pick-me-up these days to get people out to brave the unexpected one-way avenue towards the capitol. Traffic is slightly perturbed, yet that didn’t keep some police horses to mosey on by past the chandelier-lit windows Saturday evening at Mother Fool’s. Coming up from Chicago for her second stop (third if you count her performance during P.C. Allen‘s radio show on WSUM) of her mini Wisconsin tour, Deanna Devore treated a thoroughly attentive yet caffeinated audience to what we’ve been experiencing in the Windy City for some time. I’ve ran into Deanna a few times, such as her supporting fellow Canadian Lights or opening for Bonobo at the Metro (review).
Opening the evening with a voice very similar to her’s was Amy Musser. They share a similar vocal quality that balances between soothing and profound. For Amy’s set, that full tone lends a vintage, authentic aspect to her tales that sway between infidelity and daydream-inducing sentimentality. Her show at Mother Fool’s was the first time I heard the full range of her French and English songs, some new, that are currently being recorded in Madison. It was also quiet easily her most confident as well, as previous shows at the Project Lodge and Mickey’s have given her a noticeable ease and confidence you’d see in the likes of her French songstress muses. “Champagne”, which is featured on her bandcamp, ended the evening with her wispy, intoxicating whispers over her strummed acoustic guitar.
Deanna soon followed up, accompanied by her pedal that added an airy atmosphere to the beginning of “Sit Around.” Normally performing with her band, Deanna Devore played Madison and, the night before, Milwaukee with only her guitar and a lush voice that dips into a summer evening whisper before soaring above those flickering chandeliers. Two songs from her 2007 self-titled EP, “Sanity That’s Dying” and a personal favorite “The Chase You Won,” followed. The former kept its quickened tempo, stripped of its crisp drumming and supporting keys, while the latter greatly framed the addictive nature of her voice; one that can mesmerize in a circular, swirling melody raising notch by notch.
A couple new songs debuted, “The While” and “No One Has To Know”, balanced by familiar songs last heard at the Double Door or the Metro, including “Weighed Down” which promises to be one of the most memorable tracks when she finishes her follow-up record. The evening and mini-tour closed with the EP-ending “A Beautiful View.” It’s the kind of song that ends with twilight fading into night. A spellbinding step into the repeated chorus gave into a lull, which soon was filled by her insistent, hopeful “In spite of myself I am trying to believe. Despite myself, I am obliged to believe” build-up back into the self-titled chorus.
The evening brought people out the night before Easter. And although many people headed home, it was great to see so many people made it out to support not only the artists, but Mother Fool’s. (Too bad one certain piece of art was missing from the evening.) Big thank you to Mother Fool’s, Deanna and Amy for helping make this evening happen!