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arts X music

Web-hIT Wonders alli marshall reviewed the new release from local stars shannon Whitworth and barrett smith, in advance of their show at the altamont on Thursday:

WhaT you mIssed ThIs Week If you Weren’T on mounTaInX.com

A cross-section of the early 1960s has been lifted from the books, or posters, rather, and placed across the former, slightly accented walls. Drippy paisley and floral patterns in electrified swathes of yellow, green, blue and orange (with black laced in here and there) cover almost every square inch of the studio’s walls, even spilling out of the studio a bit.

Local singer-songwriters/musicians Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith recently combined their considerable individual talents to record a collection: Bring It On Home. These are time-tested songs, songs from the American songbook covering decades. And, in some cases, nearly a century: “You Are My Sunshine” and “Moonglow” date back to the ‘30s. The album kicks off with the steamy, longing-saturated, achingly romantic “Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke. From the first notes, from the low, deep groove of the bass line and the bright jabs of organ and guitar, the chemistry between Whitworth and Barrett is so palpable it’s hard to imagine that they’re not singing this song to each other (note: the two musicians are posed, on their album cover, on a rumpled bed). They’re not in a romantic relationship. But that song — definitely a stand out on the 12-song record — was a good choice for a namesake. It’s also a star-studded track, with Jeff Sipe on drums and Michael Libramento on guitar. Other contributors to the album include Mike Ashworth (bass, keys, drums), Justin Ray (trumpet), Melissa Hyman (cello), Nicky Sanders (violin), Nate Leath (violin) and Jacob Rodriguez (saxophone). “Moonglow” is period-perfect, a sighing, swinging, slow-motion work of cinematic sparkle. Ray’s trumpet sets a glamorous tone and Whitworth and Smith’s voices, evenly matched, float in and out of the verses. “I Get Ideas (When We Are Dancing)” performed, famously, by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong, follows several tracks later, but shares a retro, culled-from-a-periodfilm sensibility. It opens with just Whitworth’s vocal, low and rich,

ist and street artist Ishmael. With artists Ben Betsalel, Vincent Luca and Dustin Spagnola, a vibrant new mural is going up inside and outside of the Broadway Street location.

salon updo: Artist Ishmael (along with Dustin Spagnola, Vincent Luca and Ben Betsalel) have splashed a bright mural across the walls of Ananda Hair Studio on Biltmore Avenue. Photo by Max Cooper

Ananda, like many street-level spaces downtown, is visible through its front windows. That allows for an informative glance, but still traps the entity within the confines of the building. But no longer. The glass is suddenly more transparent. The building’s outer wall now almost seems to take a turn inward and fall back a few yards, before rejoining the sidewalk a few yards down the line. And the color makes the entire store pop out. Or rather, it’s forced out, the floor in stark contrast to the colored backdrop. It’s like a psychedelic fish tank. This’ll make more sense if you go look at it. The artist behind it all? Ishmael. With help, of course.

against a backdrop of strummed guitar. When the steel guitar and trumpet come in, the songs really takes off. It’s easy to imagine Whitworth as a torch singer in some jazz club a half-century ago. But, while the songs are decidedly 20th century, Whitworth and Smith don’t remain in the vintage haze of Cooke and Sinatra. James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes” is given a gentle update. Hyman’s cello is a key player here, crafting a mood so mellow it’s almost melancholy. In a good way. The song breathes. Smith adds the softest harmony vocal and Whitworth takes her time, easing into the sweet spots of the minor key notes that make the song so poignant. ...

38 JULY 25 - JULY 31, 2012 • mountainx.com

Whitworth and Barrett hold a CD-release party on Thursday, July 26 at The Altamont Theatre. 8 p.m., $10 in advance or $12 day of show.

kyle sherard found muralists Ishmael, dustin spagnola, Vincent Luca and ben betsalel remaking the interior of a downtown hair salon: Ananda Hair Studio has dramatically made itself over again. The salon has made itself into a little art gallery, showing work from local artists of all sorts. Now the owners have turned the space over to mural-

This is the third time the painter and Quinn-ian disciple has painted the space during the last 12 years. But the previous two murals never had such a color palate. “This winter was tough, and full of discontent for a lot of folks,” Ishmael says. “I wanted to do something fun and positive to put it all behind.” He’s taken bits and pieces from the stylings of Peter Max, Milton Glaser (I (Heart) NY) and Heinz Edelmann (Yellow Submarine!) and combined colors, shapes and patterns across Ananda’s walls. Ishmael, alongside Spagnola, Luca and Betsalel, started painting on July 10, working in short stretches mostly after hours for the busy downtown salon.

Mountain Xpress, July 25 2012  

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