My week of music continued last night with the Daphne Willis Band.
When I first Googled Daphne Willis, I didn’t think she’d be my cup of tea. The song or two that I listened to sounded like bubble gum pop, which while fun sometimes isn’t my favorite genre.
Good thing I didn’t pay attention to that quicky, snapshot, first impression!
Instead of bubblegum pop, Daphne Willis offered witty lyrics and strong instrumentals from her and her band mates (Ellen Angelico on guitar and ukulele (and kazoo!), and Megan Jane on the beatbox). Daphne’s voice is gritty, and she almost sounds like an R&B singer. Her range goes from low to high. Ellen provided really nice harmonies.
One of my favorites from the first set was “Hollywood.” In it, Daphne details that she’s never going to give into the pressures of Hollywood. She doesn’t want people talking about her only because of her looks. She can’t even spell Ferrari (which is funny, because the house concert host has one!).
“Freaks Like Me” resonates because … well … aren’t we all? We’re all freaks in some way. If you think you aren’t, you’re delusional.
They sprinkled a few Beatles covers into their sets: “Eleanor Rigby” in the first set, “Blackbird” in the second. Those songs got the crowd singing along.
Ellen and Daphne joked about a Christmas album they want to make including sure-to-be classics like: “Swing and a MIS-tletoe,” “Drink a Little Less This Year,” and “It’s not Santa, It’s My Wife.” Before moving on to the next song, Daphne assured us they weren’t joking and we’ll hear those songs next year. I hope she wasn’t being facetious!
The second set was as good as the first. Ellen sang a song titled: “You Got Nothing.” This is a nice song that sums up the feeling of the dating world. The basics of the song are, I’m something and that’s better than the nothing you’ve got!
Ellen said she was feeling very nervous about being put on the spot for “You Got Nothing.” Somewhat ironically they followed that song up with “We are Not Afraid,” an upbeat waltz. Ellen must have overcome her fear after “We Are Not Afraid,” because during “3 a.m.” she stood on chairs to shred the ukulele. It was pretty awesome.
The trio ended the night with “Done with Being Done.” This was definitely an appropriate last song, and the lyrics really tied in with living daringly too. “Done with being done. Tired of being tired…” Life’s too short to be miserable for too long.
I haven’t mentioned Megan much in this post. She did a great job adding rhythm to the sound. It’s cool when full bands play at house concerts, because it’s amazing how much depth is added by something as seemingly simple as a beat box and a set of jingly shakers on shoes…
If you are looking for more upbeat music, check out Daphne’s music. Great song writing and musicianship all the way around.