Maryse Smith, Cuddle Magic, And Rachiel Ries At Signal Kitchen February 28 2014

Words by Tim Lewis.

I had a great time seeing music last week at Signal Kitchen. I got out of work at 7 and made it downtown by 8:30. I was hoping to swing by the ½ lounge to catch Great Western, who started at 7, but did not have the time. I walked in as Marsye Smith was set to play. She opened with a gorgeous version of Good thing and played a strong set of stark songs. Her songs may not be cheery but her lyrics are so real and human, it’s easy to get entranced. Her set was well played and she closed with Liar, another personal favorite.

Up next Cuddle Magic, from NYC, took the stage. With guitar, drums, horns, keys, laptop effects and a keyboard/xylophone player, they had a highly percussive sound. Many of the song parts were heading in a Zappa or Sun Ra neighborhood, but several parts had nice harmonies and a smooth flow. They were kind of interesting, but nothing really hooked me. I really enjoyed the woman singers voice, but it wasn’t anything that put me over the top.

Rachel Ries followed with a solid set. Several of the members of Cuddle Magic backed her up, but it was really her songs and voice that lead the way. Strong stand-up bass playing, and backing vocals, by Ariel Bolles added a lot to the show. Again, I liked all the songs, but nothing grabbed me as much as Maryse’s set. I still have an image of Ariel bowing the bass and getting a cool sound out of it, so that was a lot of fun.

It was nice to see the new version of Signal Kitchen, which looked a bit different, and exactly the same. It was great to see a ton of Burlington’s most classic music people in the audience. Being part of the community and hearing Maryse made the whole evening worthwhile.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,