Our First CD Review from Hipfish!

Sedona Fire Band

CD Release/Pages of the Mind • April 12 @KALA


     In the mid to late 70’s, Astoria gave birth to the blues when a group of young men banded together to form the Bond Street Blues Band, their pulse and energy extended out through the community for many years to come, as Bond Street and as many other band configurations to this day, their gift of live music an underlying contribution to the heart and core of cultural vibrancy on the coast – connecting us all like one big family.
     So when a group of seven musicians in a coastal town come together -- friends, family and community members have a reason to get excited. As a blues/rock idiom was timely to Astoria, a fusion of folk and world beat that has emerged from Manzanita/Nehalem is keeping time with the vibe of a cool, conscientious community, a cool groove all its own.
    At the core of the groove are two musicians, vocalist and flute player Sedona Torres and vocalist/guitarist Michael Dinan. Partners in life and music, Torres and Dinan formed the duo Sedona Fire in Manzanita in 2009. Both with active musical backgrounds, their co-songwriting and harmonizing come together as a natural fit, as can be heard on a first duo CD produced several years back.
   As things progress in life and music, SEDONA FIRE BAND releases its first CD, Pages of the Mind, recorded and produced at Michael Dinan’s home studio, Seven Stars.
   The former Sedona Fire gathered along the way these folks; trumpet player Bob La Torre, playing horn for 40+ years in countless community bands, orchestras, choirs and combos, Renee Delight-La Torre, an artist and former guitar player who now devotes life to learning cello chops, keyboard/piano player Fred Lackaff, who can be heard playing at various venues in the Manzanita region (and is also a founding member of the semi-famous 60’s psyche band The New Tweedy Bros), Barbara McLaughlin, who began drumming in a full moon circle 20 years ago, drums with the famous Manzanita Tsunami drummers, and her husband Chuck McLaughlin, also a drummer, and former member of the band, Shy Jazz.
    Strings, percussion, brass, winds, keyboard, guitar and vocals; a rare ensemble treat , even in the city.
     Every track on “Pages” distinguishes itself by arrangement and songwriting; rich trumpet passages, (reminiscent of Bacharach tunes), flute and trumpet duets, chord colors from Lackaff and Dinan establish a jazz element in a fluid pop style, then some cuts are infused with the afro-Cuban beat. What’s folk about it is more the nature of musicians gathering to form a palpable fusion, and creating something unique, soulful.
     Torres, with a continuum in music performance, is the center. Vocally talented, technically and artistically, with a warm, clear quality, she’s a beautiful and inspiring songstress.
     Lyrics too, heard clear as bell, come from a devotional, and meaningful perspective. Upbeat or the beautifully darker hues, like the Spanish-esque trumpeting in the tune
     Sante Fe, Sedona Fire Band is having fun, but joyfully apparent after listening to the work on the new release, they’re also making a significant commitment to art.
     A first performance in A-Town! Welcome local coastal creatives and enjoy the grooves. Saturday, April 12, 8pm, following the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. $5. Full Bar. ART AT KALA. Full Circle: The Zodiac, Linocuts by Stirling Gorsuch and other works, featuring the cover linocut print of this month’s hipfish. More retro collage by Sid Deluca. KALA opens at 5:30pm. 1017 Marine Drive, Astoria.

- Dinah Urell