Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 9, 2014

Music with some Texas twang

Duo performs for Melodies and Masterpieces

ASHLAND — The duo She & I delivered a taste of Texas twang, along with sides of ’70s and ’80s rock, during lunch in downtown Ashland Friday as the latest in the ongoing Melodies and Masterpieces concert series, sponsored by the Arts Council of Northeastern Kentucky.

Guitarist “Texas Dave” Jaquez and vocalist Charlene Smith opened their set on Judd Plaza with a Linda Ronstadt-infused rendition of the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” after an introduction by M.J. McKay of KoolHits 105.7 FM, and followed with an hour of music that often prompted the gathering crowd to sing along.

Initially playing for only a handful of people, the duo was soon welcoming a crowd that arrived one-by-one, by bicycle and wheelchair, often carrying folding chairs as Smith and Jaquez sang “How Country Feels” before launching into the classic ’70s song “Sister Golden Hair.”

Often battling a breeze on the plaza, She & I transitioned to their rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” followed by Patty Loveless’s “Don’t Toss Us Away,” Jim Croce’s “Operator” and Merle Haggard’s “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive,” as additional folding chairs were placed at the back of Judd Plaza by a group of friends including Jim Hall, Rosemary Dennison, Larry Hall and Rosemary Hall.

“I love country music,” Dennison said, clapping her hands together as she wondered if the duo on stage might play a song by George Jones. “We love music, especially country music.”

Near the end of the show, the band answered Dennison’s request for George Jones with an alternate by George Strait, “Marina del Rey,” more than satisfying the country music lover’s appetite.

“That boy’s good, ain’t he?” Jim Hall asked, prompting Dennison to reply, “He’s real good. She’s good too!”

Smith and Jaquez both seemed to react with smiles as a group of youngsters found places to sit, and then abandoned their seats to get up and dance to Shania Twain’s “No One Needs To Know.” With energy to burn, especially as Jaquez and Smith played “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” the little children bounced and danced throughout the rest of the set and often entertained the entertainers as they enjoyed the afternoon.

Closing the show with songs including Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” as the children chanted “I want to stay! We want to stay!” the performance took an unexpectedly dramatic turn as the wind suddenly kicked up, carrying the duo’s lyric sheets sailing over and across Winchester Avenue and along 16th Street.

Melodies and Masterpieces, a concert series sponsored by the Arts Council of Northeastern Kentucky, continues at Judd Plaza from noon to 1 p.m. next Friday with acoustic-based country music from father-and-son duo Tom and Brendon Wintz. The series concludes May 23 with rock, blues and soul by singer/guitarist Jeremy Short and bassist Chris Justice of the band Downtown King.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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