Written by Eddie Ferranti
ImageThe old phrase of “the third time is the charm” works quite well in describing our recent experience with St.Louis based trio ‘Mt.Thelonius’. Rose and I had seen them at both Southwest Regional Folk Alliance 2104 and Folk Alliance International 2015 where snippets of them made us yearn to see what a full gig would produce. They pulled into Houston at local cool hole-in-the-wall , JP Hops House, where the acoustics are great and played to their strengths. This fiesty young band consists of intense Ian Luber on guitar/vocals, jolly Mark Wallace on stand-up bass and super sweet Alyssa Avery on fiddle/vocals.

Busting out of the gate doing a bold version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” was an awesome start to get your attention!  Thee attraction of this quirky threesome lies in their all over the board indie rock, mariachi, blues and Americana mix that correlates to damn good entertainment. That’s what we’re here for right?

Can’t say enough how Alyssa floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee plucking or strumming up a storm on her violin while she bunny hops in place. Their ultra togetherness transcends into a smooth and unique gig that works nicely. Stand outs included “Cold Winter Town”, “Run Run Far Away” which they dedicated as thee “Eddie Song” and yet another sparkling good cover “Everything Little Thing She Does is Magic” by the Police!  Sweet mesmerizing stuff.

One of their signature songs from Kansas City was “Good Day Sir” which was received well along with “Road Warrior”, and sing-a-long goodie “We All Sing A Song of the Heart” with spot on lyric we sing ’till this world falls apart.  Amen to that because without music in our lives we’d be lost. The band has stated that they are welcome by hippies across the land to stay with them. Well this hippie duo sure have shown a liking to them. Let’s hope they come to more towns that we visit.

ImageOpening the night was yet another duo whom we’ve seen just pockets of and they also impressed doing a 45 minute set. Husband and wife Pete & Crystal make up ‘ordinary elephant’ and to say they are “different” and laid back is an under statement. They live in a big RV with their dog traveling the country delivering their passionate brand of folk, bluegrass, Americana and alt-rock.

They met at Texas A&M and started with “Lifetime” which was fluffy and cute. Nancy Griffith’s “I Wish It Would Rain” and newbie “Can I Count On You” showcased the powerful passionate vocals of Crystal.

Their songs are short overall, but full of co-ordinated precision. “Highway 71” was a tear jerkin’ tale of the bad forest fires in Bastrop in 2011 that still hurts badly reminding us all that you can never take anything for granted in life.

These two seem to have leaped forward big time every time we witness them live, especially the banjo/guitar prowess of Pete. They have a dry sense of humor, see “The Hooker Song” (“There’s No Way Out”) and a deep reflective quality on “Leaving Kerrville” about a near tragic accident that made them realize you never know what might be coming your way.

May The Lord bless these galivanting free spirits as they chase their dreams together…