Written by James Killen

008For months I’ve been hearing about this Houston based duo, Mystery Loves Company, but I never got to the right place at the right time to catch their show. I finally had them written down in ink for a performance at the Americana on August 25th, only to have Harvey put the show on hold. Luckily, I only had to wait a couple of weeks for the rescheduled show.

MLC is Carlos Machado on guitar and Madeline Herdeman on electric cello playing a unique combination of folk rock and classical stylings that they have dubbed “chamber rock”. Their voices blend well on well written lyrics and they don’t seem to be bound by any one genre of music. On this evening, Carlos and Maddy were joined by Alauna Rubin on clarinet and Jeremy Dudman on bass.

The evening began with “If Heaven”, a beautiful declaration of love for all people as a way of life. (Available for free download from the band’s website and well worth the listen). The music moved from pop to psychedelic and to the jazzy “Fly”. The evening included their tried and true tunes, a few new ones destined for their next recording, and even some uniquely performed covers of classic rock tunes, like “I Think I Love You”.

050Many of the songs showed a definite folk style, while others sounded like symphony with Maddy’s nimble fingers coaxing beautiful melodies from her cello. Mr. Rubin’s clarinet stylings took the lead quite often in a very entertaining mix of jazz, classical and new age. Carlos’s guitar is steady throughout as well as his vocals.

MLC performed many of their originals, like “Aliens”, “Bird and Fish” and “Muddy Blues” as well as covers of “Eleanor Rigby” and “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling”, before playing ”The Once of a Kiss” as an encore.

I was impressed by their comfortable stage presence, their refined musicianship, the intelligence of their lyrics and the pure originality of the band’s concept. Now I know what everyone has been talking about and I can assure you that I will not wait as long to catch them as they gig across Houston.