Mike Bonanni, Staff Writer
It was a great night for acoustic music as The Oneonta Theatre held a brand new event showcasing local talent. last Thursday, February 16. There was plenty of talent to go around with acts such as All But Impossible, Dylan Bressler, Hello, Seattle and the wonderful duo of Khalil Jade and Sky Miritello. This was the first in a new program of shows being coordinated by Oneonta student Luca Perotti and the Oneonta Theatre called the “Open Jam” series.
Jade and Miritello helped kick off the night with light gentle vocals and acoustic guitar chords that were a lullaby for the soul. Not only are both of them amazing singers with soft folk/indie style voices, but they can also play some sweet harmonica to match their harmonies. Though they played no originals, their covers were fantastic and included “Wolf Like Me” by TV on the Radio and “Levi Blues” by Dala. The two come from Morrisville where they currently attend high school and according to Jade they’ve known each other “forever.” Jade and Miritello don’t have any CD’s but there are Youtube videos of their performances and a Facebook page for fans. Jade says that her hope for the future is to “keep doing this and go to more places.” These ladies are no strangers to the Oneonta Theatre. However, “This is our first real deal show,” says Jade. They seemed a bit nervous at sound check, but in the end it was a nice set with family and friends out in the crowd to cheer them on.
Next up for the evening was Hello, Seattle who managed to maintain the level of quality and satisfy expectations carried over from the first act with some acoustic pop rock. Kim Berg brings a powerful performance as the frontwoman, which shows just what kind of amazing voices can come from SUNY Oneonta’s a capella group, Hooked on Tonics. But don’t count out guitarist Amy Maxwell. She contributes some tasteful backup vocals, but can also hold her own as lead vocalist, as she shows in their song “Peter Pan.” Then there is keyboard player Jason Psanis, who seems to be having fun playing in his first band. With a good mix of originals and a couple of covers, they make a solid band. Throughout the audience, there was a mixture of uncontrollable head-bobbing and singing along to their cover of “Memory” by Sugarcult. They have an album out called “Writing in Reverse” and a Facebook page which also has music available for streaming. Look out for these guys since they will be in plenty of future shows in town, including one this Sunday, February 26 at the Black Oak.
All But Impossible formed about six years ago, and since then Justin Volpe has been working with Cody “Tater Salad” Ryan to harness their full vocal and guitar magic potential. Volpe jokes, “It took me a while to ask him out.” Their lineup also includes drummer Jon Scott, but he could not make it to this particular show. They had their fair share of covers and originals and it made for an entertaining show. For a band that was not particularly cozy with acoustic performances they definitely did Long Island proud. The only problem is that it seemed like the inner hard rock of their original songs, off their album “Windfall,” wanted to run free and transform their acoustics into Les Pauls. Volpe’s raw and meaty vocals were spot on, but it didn’t seem to come alive as much compared to when he was plugged in at the SUCO Rock Combo shows last year. One of the most memorable parts of the night came when they did a crazy and random medley of songs, starting with The Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life” and going through covers by artists such as Pink, Taproot and Nickleback.
Dylan Bressler was the one to end the night with his unique fusion of energetic acoustic rock and college-humored lyrics. Each song seemed to have an entertaining story behind it and there were plenty of shout outs to go around for this guitar and cat-loving performer. His guitar playing was pretty impressive, but it is no surprise since he has been a musician for 13 years. This is especially true in his song “Bong & Guitar” which has a great funky rhythm. It was a really good way to end the night. In the future, Bressler hopes to do writing, more playing and more crazy. He has his music available for free online on his Facebook page and on his Sound Cloud page at soundcloud.com/dylanbressler.
Any artists looking to be a part of these shows should send an email containing a logo or a picture, information such as contact and a bio as well as a song to Luca Perotti at [email protected]