Though singer-songwriter Sinem Saniye wasn’t the headliner, she surely stole the show at Falstaff’s at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.
The quadruple bill was made up of headliners Squinch Owl and three performers with Skidmore ties: two graduates – Sinem (class of ’01) and Lisa Piccirillo (’04) – and one current student, Suna Izgi.
While a Skidmore student, Turkish-American songstress Sinem performed around town at the Hat’s Off Festival and the Final Stretch Fest, as well as Caffe Lena. Now based out of NYC, she has pursued her music career and released her debut album, “When I Don’t Sleep” on 6/8 Records.
A polished performer, Sinem is well versed in jazz guitar techniques, and her instrumental prowess was exceptional in accompanying her powerful, dynamic voice. Sometimes backed by computer-generated rhythms, she focused her set on original tunes from her album, highlighted by “I’ll Confide” and “Boon Sheke Nana,” the latter a potent mix of traditional Turkish rhythms and contemporary Western pop. She also offered an outstanding cover of Patty Griffin’s “Hear Me Now.”
Izgi delivered a promising, four-song set, while Piccirillo transformed Falstaff’s into coffee house heaven with tunes from her album, “Momentum.”
Led by singer-banjo player Sofia Albam, Squinch Owl brought honest roots-Americana to Falstaff’s with their closing set. Banjo and washboard tunes gave their music a southern back-porch jam feel – especially on one tune featuring the musical saw.
Located on the Skidmore campus, Falstaff’s is a lovely performance space with a rustic interior and a high cathedral ceiling. The acoustics are good, especially for a venue with a comfortable capacity of more than 100. Falstaff’s hosts several weeknight, acoustic concerts – including recent performances by artists ranging from Paleface to Sean Tyrell – during the school year, and admission is free to students and the public alike.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk