Review and video by Joel Patterson
Back in the ’80s – I know for many of you this is equivalent to a fairy tale – a band called General Eclectic (a sly play on General Electric, the industrial behemoth) roamed through Albany and its environs spreading its resoundingly anti-authoritarian gospel of hot blues and spicy, tasteful rock ‘n roll. At its incandescent center were Deb and Paul Cavanaugh, a husband and wife team of rebels and true believers. Against the complacency and blasé conformism of the era (a “peaceful time” chock full of vicious injustices), they flung every ounce and gram of their energy, every microdot.
Okay, back to the future. Deb Cavanugh remembers her late husband with a song called “Highway in Your Eyes,” which traces their blossoming romance and cross-country adventures with wistful, knowing backward glances. As she sings it, you can feel her toying with the giddiness of young love, the fleeting, star-bursty emotional zingers, the onset of adult responsibilities, the whole catalog of life’s delights and disappointments. Its message seems to be: despite all that you know better, we have no choice but to surrender to our most burning desires. Our truest selves will not take ‘no’ for an answer.
Last month at Emack and Bolio’s in Albany, Deb Cavanaugh performed, accompanied on guitar and bass by the knock-out spectacular Brenda Fisher and on harmonica and dobro by the exquisitely harmonious Lewis Benko.