Written by James Killen
I got to the Americana Saturday evening, ready to be entertained once again by Maddy and Carlos and their unique blend of musical styles as Mystery Loves Company. This evening was the first time that I caught the whole band complete with drummer. In addition, the band was gathered together to perform their upcoming CD, “Here We Are”, in its entirety and in the order that it will be on the disc.
If you are not familiar with MLC, they are Carlos Machado on guitar and vocals, Madeline Herdeman on cello and vocals, with Alauna Rubin on a very jazzy clarinet and, rhythm section, Jeremy Dudman on bass and Danny Patterson on drums. Their music is a combination of folk-rock and jazz tethered together in classically arranged movements that is unique in my experience of listening.
The evening began with the band performing a few of their old favorites like “If Heaven”, “Muddy Blues” and their cover of the Partridge family hit, “I Think I Love You” (which as far as I am concerned is now a MLC hit) before launching into the new album.
The first cut for the new disc is a gentle tune, “Lila”, followed by “The Wall” performed in a fine psychedelic tradition. The third track, “I Love You”, showed off the band’s timing with many strategically placed rests for the whole band at once.
The fourth song on the disc, “Numbers and Lines”, is one that they have been performing for a while and features a great vocal solo by Maddy. “Someday” featured some excellent instrumental interplay. It was followed by the title track, “Here We Are” which led into “The Impossibility of Us” and followed by the sad “Tonight I Know”.
“Your Makeup” features a counter intuitive rhythm and is followed by an untitled instrumental, finally ending the disc in “The Silence”. The band took a break to mingle and catch a breath before launching into the third set of old favorites. These included “Aliens”, “Slow” and “Bird and Fish” as well a couple more of their most popular cover songs, “Eleanor Rigby” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”.
The first thing that struck me about the evening was how much better MLC sounded with the drummer in the line-up, accenting all of the movements and flourishes. The other thing that I was able to take home is that the band has taken on quite a project with “Here We Are” and I didn’t wait long to get my preorder for the disc in to the website, preorder.mysteryloves.com. I still find the band riveting in a live venue and would recommend attending one of their shows whenever you get the chance.