Written by Eddie Ferranti
Southwest Regional Folk Alliance is a great gathering of acts that happens every September in Austin, Texas. Rose and I have attended the past five years and have nurtured some great relationships with acts that we have seen and broke bread with. One such act was by the catchy name of Mystery Loves Company. Carlos Machado and Maddy Herdeman are two of the nicest people we’ve encountered at SWRFA and at that first meeting they were all “ears”. They actually met at the venue this night on an Open Mic night in 2012. MH plays electric cello and CM guitar. Vocals are handled well by both. The phrase “you have to see them to believe them” fits like a glove!
The duo has amped it up and grown to a killer five piece that graced the stage at this acoustic gem and it sounded wonderful. Alauna Rubin (clarinet), Jeremy Dudman (bass), and Danny Patterson (drums) are the welcome additions who bolster the main stay duo up front. Getting a full rare time slot with 7:30pm start enhanced the experience big time and they got a nice crowd, too. Maddy’s first written song ever kicked it off, “Muddy Blue”, complete with finger snappin’ tempo. The lady has dolled her cute self up and can turn on the sexy jammin’ on her cello which in itself sounds odd, but so true. The bluesy soulful nature of their vocals backed by clarinet is a dynamite mix backed by thumping bass and strong skins. “Aliens” has a radio ready sound and to add to their out of nowhere mystique were killer covers of Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” and rockin’ drawn out Pearl Jam’s “Better Man”! “Tonight I Know” spotlighted Maddy’s gentle voice that has incredible range and Carlos’ blends with her honey sweet. They showed how versatile they have become with a Spanish tune tossed in also.
MLC ooze complete control and confidence the more we see them play. You can feel the modest chemistry growing amongst the members. Their talent has really had an upward climb since their early duo days and it shined on tunes like “If Heaven”, “Lila”, “Rambunctious Cowboy” and “The Impossibility of Us”. The comedic banter is there also with Maddy sharing her real job stories of youngster’s insights at her cello teaching classes along with Carlo’s Venezuela accent barkin’ out subtle jabs all night. Carlos complimented the crowd for coming out to support them and they remain a humble down to earth team that is enjoying the ride. Listening is a virtue and y’all should try them on for size yourself…………