No Fuss in Fletcher Hall

The No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow, with special guest Lily Mae, kept the crowd at Fletcher Hall cheering throughout Friday night.

No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow rocked with Outpost.

The rain and wind on Friday night drove a sizable audience to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair’s Fletcher Hall for an intimate Outpost in the Burbs show with the No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow with opener Lily Mae. All performers and audience members treated each other like a family, something that Outpost has always been about.

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Lily Mae of Pennsylvania defied her young age of 17 as much on stage as she does in the studio. This was not only apparent in her vocals – strongly influenced by Joni Mitchell, Laura Marling, Emmylou Harris and Amy Grant – but also in some of the themes she often explores: expanding knowledge and creativity beyond the school walls, moving on in life while fueling oneself with cherished memories and positive things to come, social reform, evolution and strong friendships. These themes are quite contrary to subject matter some of her peers touch upon.

Even before she performed her first song on the set, she said, “I’m so lucky and everyone is so pretty, and everyone is so nice.”

After “Easy Morning,” she asked the crowd if “she could be friends,” to which everyone said “yes” in their own ways. She appropriately followed  with “Harmony Road,” a song which addresses moving on in life while still being fueled by cherished memories and positive things to come.

Although she slightly surprised some of the audience by sharing that she writes many of her songs with her older sister, Chloe, their new-found love and appreciation for her lessened none. She finished her set with “Darling Boy,” “They Let Me Still” and “Don’t You Hear?” In between, she proved her desire to become friends with her fans by telling them she “has a close relationship with her guitar,” which she named Martin.

No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow entered next, comprised of Karyn Oliver, Carolann Solabello and two members of the YaYas. YaYa members Jay Mafale and Catherine Miles, husband and wife duo,  are greatly inspired by Joni Mitchell and began their set with “Field on Fire.” Following that was an early YaYas song, “Little Scars,” with a sound reminiscent of the 80’s mother-daughter country duo The Judds. Between songs they cracked some jokes, and they paid homage to the late Ron Kennedy, who created the Kerrville Folk Festival which the YaYas had been finalists of twice.

During intermission, the crowd was surprised to learn that two tickets that they each received at the door were  good for one dessert item and one drink item. Although this event had a BYOB option, wine was also graciously provided by the Outpost volunteers.

Once everyone was settled down with their refreshments, CDs and merchandise they purchased, No Fuss once again lit up with two Joni Mitchell covers: “A Case of You” and “Mermaid Cafe,” along with some of their other numbers. No Fuss’ overall set was quite an eclectic mix of folk, country and old-time rock-and-roll, which was in good contrast to Lily Mae’s more earthy, down-home, folkish set. All of these sounds seemed to meld together well not only because of the sound, but also because of the themes and the audiences that made it possible.

The next Outpost show is Friday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Richard Barone and special guests Milton, Jefferey Gaines and Deni Bonet of In the Round will be performing.

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