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Super Sweet Folk Show at The Yankee Doodle New Haven, CT Saturday August 2 2014 Reviewed

Jon Stone

Jon Stone

When you’re invited to a “super sweet folk show”, you don’t turn it down. Especially when it’s pretty much the most laid back show you’ll ever go to, pot luck dinner and all. I packed my camera and some homemade kale chips and headed down to The Yankee Doodle in New Haven, “house show” venue owned by Jon Stone of 10,000 Blades, a phenomenal CT band in their own right. Gabriel Mortali, Chris Cappello, Macaulay of Ava Marie, and Jon Stone would be playing in the candlelit room, the entire show unplugged and intimate.
Gabriel Mortali opened up the night, and I had no idea what to expect. What I fell in love with first was his absolutely stunning guitar skills. I’m always fascinated when singer-songwriters can play intricate licks under their singing, but this man aced it. His voice was smooth as silk, by far the greatest vocalist I have heard in a damn long time. I seriously got goosebumps. The complexity of his music blew me away, and it was just a man and his guitar. I hope to catch him at more shows.

Chris Cappello was up next, another musician I’d never seen solo. I’d seen him with his punkier band Loner Chic, but didn’t know how he would be on his own. I loved the raw feel of his tunes, packed with lyrics that will shoot you back to that time you were crying in your room sophomore year over some girl. That mixed with obvious splashes of Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst inspiration drew me in, but when he picked up his ‘rock guitar’ is when the real fun began. He stood up, energetic, and it was clear that he was just as comfortable being more punk rock as sitting and crooning. His versatility was great.

Macaulay of Ava Marie played next, and I was blown away. His voice is chilling, and I immediately downloaded all of their music when I came back from the show. It felt soft and sweet, like a better and cooler version of Bon Iver without the self-depreciation and lyrics that make more sense. Something about his sound really got to me- it made me feel really nostalgic.

Jon Stone played last, and every time I see him live I become more and more impressed. His voice is just absolutely captivating. Even more adorable, his parents were there. He wasn’t originally playing this show, but the intended musician, Will Pratt, threw out his back and couldn’t get out of bed. He, like all others that played, is a great performer, cracking jokes and telling little stories. It was so easygoing and it was basically a show of all friends. I really gotta hand it to Jon for making everyone feel welcome and having the show be one of the homiest and funnest I’ve been to in a while.

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