Simple Minded Predators at Parkside Lounge (A Review)

The Simple Minded Predators
Parkside Lounge, NY
Friday, June 29th, 2012

Written by Matthew Giannotti

The Simple Minded Predators showed off their new sound at the Parkside Lounge Friday night, playing a mix of covers and originals inspired by American folk and bluegrass. Newly formed, they are a breath of fresh air in New York, utilizing banjo, guitar, and fiddle to create a fun fueled group with a backwoods feel.

Before the Simple Minded Predators took the stage, their presence was already felt throughout the lounge. During the sound-check, Bo DePena (guitar/harmonica/vocals) livened up the room, his edgy attitude radiating from the stage. The back room at the Parkside Lounge, on Houston Street, provided a perfect fit for lively yet intimate nature of their set.

The first song, “Brooklyn Moon”, an original, was a great opener, showcasing their virtuosic fiddle player, Rebekah Durham. Classically trained, Rebekah let that all go, tearing it up with a mean shuffle bow, and technically astonishing left hand. Her playing immediately resonated with the crowd, getting some whoops and hollerin’.

The second song, written by Miles Pittman, was titled “Fallin’ in Love Again”, and let the crowd settle in, with a slower and more intimate music. Miles showed off the richness of his vocal low range, and his heart felt lyrics showed off a softer side to their band. The three part vocal harmonies during the chorus were perfectly executed, and showcased how well they all played together.

They then played a mix of traditional and originals songs until they got to Bo’s “Maxine”. Written “with the names changed to protect the innocent”, Bo brought out the edginess back with a solo tune about how mean girls are.

The show stopper was definitely their cover of “Sally Goodin”, which was inspired by Daniel Carwile. If you don’t know Daniel Carwile, check out his version, which is one of the best I’ve heard. Having a workshop with him, you could hear the influence as Rebekah’s played her own take on the tune. Like a jazz solo, Rebekah’s playing was fresh, receiving many yelps and cheers from the audience. You can see a version here.

Their next show is July 13th at the Sidewalk Cafe at 9PM.

Check the Simple Minded Predators out on Facebook.

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