There is no shortage of musical talent within the streets, homes and clubs of Boston. Whether it’s a band rocking the house on a crowded Friday night, a DJ spinning the hottest club hits during late hour last calls or passionate singer-songwriters singing their hearts out to a rapturously approving local crowd, Boston has it covered when it comes to finding virtually any kind of music on a given night. Here are five of the city’s musical auteurs who keep it simple and stripped down.
Danielle Miraglia is a Boston-based blues artist who is seriously passionate about her old school, roots approach to songwriting. Her soulful delivery focuses upon simple rhythms and melodies, filtered through a stomping percussive drive and Miraglia’s dextrous yet memorable guitar playing. This singer and guitarist also utilizes harmonica accompaniment to her bluesy odes to the human experience, delivering her music to local and critical acclaim after playing shows in Brighton, Somerville, Allston and Boston proper.
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Folk singer, guitarist and songwriter Lui Collins has been active in the Boston music scene since the 1970s, and continues to go strong these days in 2014, both as musician, activist and teacher, a passionate devotee of the arts who supports music in the home and in schools as part of her “Upside-Up” mission to bring together music and family. It’s an admirable aim for this emotionally charged singer and guitarist who bolstered her musical knowledge with piano, violin and more while growing up in her native Vermont before emerging as one of Boston’s first folk stars.
Austin and Elliott
Chris Elliott and Lisa Austin are a musical duo who are injecting new, irreverent elements into the established folk and singer-songwriter playing field via their smart and modern lyrical sensibilities. Meanwhile, their musical end hinges upon vocal melodies and harmonies, while the duo trades off licks on Chris’ guitar and Lisa’s bass, banjo and guitar, bringing their fun and original take on folk to Boston’s coffee houses, clubs and concert halls. Their shows are guaranteed to be a memorable experience.
Laura Cortese seeks to balance many musical elements within her songwriting, bringing such disparate conceptual elements as folk, roots and classic, old school rock ‘n roll to her band Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. Cortese is lyrically poignant, as well, often striking right to the heart of her audience with songs like “For Catherine” which manage to be both personal and universal while always ensuring that the songs never lose themselves or fall astray of Laura’s main musical goal: to connect with her fans.
If you want to find Lloyd Thayer and hear some of his music, you need look no further than any of Boston’s streets or subways, where Thayer plies his trade and talent to entertain and impress Boston citizens on a daily basis. Thayer is a rabid music fan and brings his extensive influences — ranging from surf and world music to funk, soul, rock and reggae — to fans at “normal” clubs and concert halls, as well, always with his trademarked, old school Tricone steel guitar. Lloyd Thayer is definitely a unique musical voice here in Boston.
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George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at Examiner.com.