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Wednesday April 16, 2014
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Tangerine Trousers



I had no idea what to expect when I was — yeah, I'll admit it — talked into heading down to the Ark one day last spring for a CD release of a band I'd never heard of. My friend made me do it. She made me walk headlong into a room so thick with harmony that the hairs on my arms stood up — in a good way. And apparently I was the last in town to hear about these Trousers — a six-piece folk/whatever (they call it "folkrockcoustic") band. The place was packed with hollering fans, all clamoring for their favorite songs. And there were quite a few, all originals, to choose from.

This project is a meeting of six highly musical minds. Front and center are lead singers and band founders CJ Milroy and her husband, John Milroy. As the only woman, CJ is quite the focus, Renaissance beautiful and with one of the most versatile and wondrous folk/pop voices in the area. But to call these two "lead singers" would lessen the impact of everyone else. In truth, this is a group project. Pretty much everyone is a multi-instrumentalist, but in brief, guitarist Pat Shanley, drummer Michael Hacala, bassist Luke Sayers, and accordionist and pennywhistler (and gargantuan-trouser wearer) Mark Iannace are major presences throughout. You ever try to get six talented musicians to agree on a rehearsal schedule, a slew of arrangements and harmonies, a set list, and a gig date, not to mention travel arrangements? Have you? Well, I haven't either, but I've heard it's hard. Watching the Trousers in action is inspiring: six musical visions working as one. The result is pretty powerful.

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