Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
Hand Habits photographs by Timothy Reidy
Figgs bassist Pete Donnelly returned to Valentine’s last Friday with a new combo from Philly, the Wise Easy, featuring Jim Balga on drums and Phil D’Agostino on bass. Fresh off an appearance at Saratoga’s Spring Street Gallery the night before, Donnelly had a batch of new tunes from his upcoming album, Face the Bird, to showcase.
The soon-to-be-released album was (mostly) recorded in October in an unused storefront in Ocean City, New Jersey, during the off-season and just before Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore. It has an experimental and widely divergent stylistic feel. “Delicate Elocution,” about the tactful art of navigating a friend’s domestic violence situation, was a somberish ballad, while “Got Caught Up” – which features singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne on the album – was a shame-free pop tune with an irresistible chorus.