Maybe it was the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend or just the great weather, but all over Nippertown audiences weren’t really coming out to the clubs and coffeehouses last Friday.
Inside the cozy Bread And Jam Café in downtown Cohoes, however, the stage was set to go and several dozen people waited patiently for the start of the Keith Kane Duo.
The first hour of the night was devoted to the opening act: Population2. This new regional duo of Justin Glodich and Joel Servant armed with two acoustic guitars and a Crane School of Music background had a lock on tight vocal harmonies and musical dynamics. Regulars at the Bread & Jam, they had listened to each other and decided they were of one musical soul.
Before long, Keith Kane (of the multi-platinum album selling arena rockers Vertical Horizon) was perched upon a stool and tuning his acoustic six-string guitar. Just behind him Brian Fechino fiddled with his electric guitar and the dozen or so effects pedals strewn about the floor in front of him.
Wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt, Kane launched their set with a country-tinged number that flowed right into “Candy Man” and a hauntingly beautiful version of “Bring It On Home.” Later, a hard-rocking version of Kane’s “Shackled” had the place jumping.
Throughout the show, Fechino’s marvelous playing beautifully augmented Kane’s singing and guitar strumming. His washes of sounds, sonic effects and lyrical guitar solo runs made the absence of a drummer or percussionist a moot point.
Not a note out of place or a sound that wasn’t meant to be. These two guys have played together and for many years. That was obvious throughout the room all night.
Their repertoire was drawn from a wide range of sources. It was all over the musical map. Cyndi Lauper’s ’84 hit “Time After Time” was as much at home on the set list as the heartfelt “Millworker” from the short-lived ’70s Broadway musical, “Working.”
A handful of self-penned and reworked Kane material from his tenure in Vertical Horizon was also served up, much to the crowd’s delight. One particularly spirited stand-out of the evening was Fechino’s original “Calling Me,” from the duo’s brand new EP, “Kane Fechino McEwan.” (Ah yes – For those wondering, McEwan is the percussionist who collaborates with Kane in his touring side-project, but he was unable to make it to the Cohoes show.)
The performance came to a close with a traditional folk nugget, “Wandering,” that would have been very much at home at Caffe Lena. Both men were clearly happy with their performance and so were the handful of fans that stayed afterward to chat and buy an EP or two. (Fechino’s superlative recording “Painting A Dream” was also available.)
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk