Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

June 26, 2013

CT Goes Country

Summerwind, Windsor, CT
June 23, 2013
by Eric Sutter

The Summerwind Performing Arts Center hosted two up-and-coming female country music artists backed by Connecticut's own Monthei Brothers. The twin brothers have played country music in CT since the 70's. Their five-piece band began the night with an Eagles' classic "Take It Easy." On this beautiful cool moonlit night, the boys played bluegrass and the rock hit "Memphis" by Chuck Berry. They proved what 40 years of experience is worth. John Monthei's flashy fiddle style colored "Orange Blossom Special."

The 20 year old Marla Morris from Bethany, CT rocked her country sound from the opener title cut of her CD, "Ready For The Rain," to the closer, "Take Me Home." She shared songs of lost love, friendship and growth. Morris' songs "Last Dance" and "Let You Go" were interspersed with rock hits "Long Train Runnin'" and "Walking In Memphis." Listen for more from this talented young singer.

Nicole Freshette, from Madison, is another young powerhouse country singer who showcased her amazing dual natured voice that rocked and soothed. Her charismatic presence propelled new songs from her latest CD "Blonde Ambition." "Bird On A Wire" had a Miranda Lambert influence. In fact, later in the set she performed Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart." Freshette's confident vocals belted out "He Wants Me" with gusto. The Phil Vassar penned pop-hook hit "Yeah Right," from Freshette's debut CD, featured a captivating chorus and smooth pedal steel guitar solo by John Monthei. The country ballad "Old Dirt Road" gave the singer the opportunity to show off her lovely voice in a tender song, with acoustic guitar as backdrop.

"Heartbreak Overdrive" added riveting rockin' country with hot electric guitar leads of the wild abandonment variety. Freshette shifted to a bluesy singing style for a soulful take of Tracey Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." She closed with the bristly Dixie Chicks' country-rocker "Let Er' Rip." This girl is going places... as is Summerwind. The venue features a fine array of talent this summer.