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Waves of Adrenaline: Press

Waterbury Arts Fest weekend showcases local musicians

The Grift will headline the Friday night block party at the Waterbury Arts Fest this summer.

Entertainment has been lined up for both the Friday night party and Saturday’s Waterbury Arts Fest with the support of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, this year’s stage and entertainment sponsor.

Three performers will play at the block party on Friday evening, July 8. The 30-minute opening set will feature Sadie Bolger, a solo singer-songwriter. Then The Grift, which bills itself as “Vermont’s premier good-time party band,” will team up with their alter-egos, Dojo, to get everyone dancing in the street.

Dojo, known for 1980s bluegrass rock, has been playing across central Vermont to rave reviews.

An entire day of street music has been planned for Saturday, July 9, while people check out the arts and crafts at the Arts Fest. First up is Sadie Bolger, followed by Waves of Adrenaline, a harmony duo with Bridget Ahrens and Alana Shaw. Cooie Sings, with bluesy vocals, will round out the morning schedule.

Araba-Lon, a West African-style drum ensemble, will dance through the streets of the Arts Fest before arriving on stage. The finale will be a dance performance by Green Mountain Performing Arts, featuring local students.

“Local music is just one of the arts that we showcase at the Waterbury Arts Fest,” said Karen Nevin, executive director of Revitalizing Waterbury. “We want you dancing in the streets all weekend long!”

The Arts Fest is the primary fundraiser for Revitalizing Waterbury, which works to preserve and enhance the downtown area’s economic, historic and social vitality. Information: Karen Nevin at 802-793-6029 orkaren@revitalizingwaterbury.org.

Album Review

 

(Self-released, CD, digital download)

Perhaps adventure, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. For some, it means jumping out of a plane at 20,000 feet and praying to God your parachute opens. Others require decidedly less titillating experiences to get the blood flowing. Adventure could be as simple as a stroll downtown or a campout in the backyard. Different strokes for different folks, right? In the case of Burlington’s Waves of Adrenaline, it seems the mere act of making music is adventuresome. The folk duo consists of two middle-aged songwriters, Alana Shaw and Bridget Ahrens, both of whom returned to playing music later in life. That could certainly be a daunting proposition, especially if your guitar has been gathering dust in a closet for years. The result of their journey is a debut album, Off On a Wild Adventure. While not nearly so endorphin-boosting as its title would suggest, the record is a pleasant, if conventional, collection of folkie fare that should find a willing audience in those who prefer their musical adventures on the tamer side.

Waves of Adrenaline pattern much of their catalog after the harmony-driven stylings of the Indigo Girls. That duo’s influence is apparent throughout the record and WOA seem most comfortable when overtly winking towards Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. Blue-hued tracks such as “Watersong,” the surprisingly ethereal “Rain, Heavy at Times,” and especially album closer “When I Leave Here,” are highlights. Much like Ray and Saliers, Shaw and Ahrens spend a lot of time singing in unison before breaking off into harmonies, usually leading into choruses. It’s a predictable but solid device that makes good use of the duo’s well-matched vocal timbres, and provides several genuinely nice moments.

Still, there’s a hesitancy throughout the record that gives some songs a clunky, vanilla feel. On “The Sledding Song,” for example, the duo fails to capture the thrill of sliding at a breakneck pace down the slopes of Mt. Philo, despite playful lyricism to the contrary. The post-Irene homage “You Can’t Drown Out Vermont,” while well intentioned, is hamstrung by overly literal wordplay that’s more Vermont passive than Vermont strong.

Given both the duo’s moniker and the album’s title,Off On a Wild Adventure is at times almost comically reserved. Shaw and Ahrens generally sing and play capably enough. But there is cautiousness in both writing and performance that prevents the record from transcending paint-by-numbers neo-folk. However, despite its occasional stiffness, the record is sweetly charming, which might be all the adventure that WOA really need.

Waves of Adrenaline celebrate Off On a Wild Adventure with a release party at the Block Gallery in Winooski on Thursday, July 19.

Dan Bolles - Seven Days (Jul 18, 2012)

Waves of Adrenaline Make a Splash on Local TV So you keep hearing about this new folk duo splashing music and fresh harmonies about, awash with infectious energy – but you’ve never had the chance to experience Waves of Adrenaline in person. Do we have some good news for you! Alana Shaw and Bridget Ahrens, the songwriting/guitar playing team that is Waves of Adrenaline were recent special guests on Near and Far, the interview series hosted by producer Richard Kemp, at CCTV Channel 17 in Burlington. It’s a full dose of WOA, as Alana and Bridget perform four of their original songs, and talk in depth with Richard about their music and their songwriting. Copy the link below to stream the video online or click on the WOA interview in the "Links" section just to the left. http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/waves-adrenaline-music-voyagers