Bands at Stone Church share mutual admiration

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BRATTLEBORO — Besides being fronted by two of the Pioneer Valley's most respected songwriters, The Fawns with Lesa Beso, and Spouse led by Jose Ayerve, are old friends and fervent fans of each other.

One example of their mutual admiration connection occurred during a Bezo birthday bash/Karaoke party a few years back. "All of a sudden, I heard my song "Would You Stop?" playing over the speakers" recalled Bezo, "But it was not me singing it. It was Jose!"

It wasn't until her partner/guitarist Henning Ohlenbusch took the mic and presented Bezo with a tribute CD of her compositions interpreted by other performers, that she realized what exactly what was happening. "I couldn't believe so many musicians that I admire and look up to had recorded cover versions of my songs. I was speechless. Man, it was such a trip and something that I will always hold dear."

Ayerve, who eventually left the area and now resides in Ecuador is energized by the release of his band's EP entitled "Sell The Silver," Spouse's first new recording in eight years. He is also psyched to be sharing the stage with old friends this Sunday at The Stone Church. "I'm excited for the show and it's always a joy to share the bill with the Fawns. Lesa and company have such a unique sound. Their songs are really interesting, smart, and catchy. I'm also really excited to hear Ex-Temper perform, too. It will be the last show of our tour and that always makes it special too".

Bezo, who is already writing songs for the follow-up to 2016's well-received "Goodnight Spacegirl," is pumped to rock the Stone Church. "I can't wait to get back in that beautiful space. We are so psyched to be sharing the stage with Spouse again! Their energy is infectious and their songs are so ridiculously good."

I asked Ayerve about his original vision for Spouse and his decision to bring the band back to the studio and to the road. "When I began recording "Nozomi" (the first Spouse full-length) circa 1995, the idea was always to make each song unique and different from any other song. I had zero interest in writing songs that sounded like any other song we'd previously written. I think that has also been the case with each subsequent album. That was the original vision. Obviously, I was enjoying it. As band members rotated in and out, a core group of collaborators emerged over time but the objective remained the same: variety and dynamics. The equipment, the players, the space we use to record, those things change, but the trajectory is linear and evolving; what we learned making "Nozomi" we still kept in mind when making 'Sell the Silver.'"

Bezo also talked about her evolving vision for The Fawns. "We started out as dreamy Americana and gone through many phases. Our second record, "A Nice Place To Be," had a power pop feel, and "Goodnight, Spacegirl" is a bit heavier and darker. We were hoping to capture a bigger sound and while the previous albums told autobiographical stories, I didn't limit the lyrics on "Goodnight, Spacegirl" to my own life. Some of the songs explore abstract ideas, some were stories I made up, and some are true. I won't say which ones are which."

As for Ayerve's thoughts about Spouse going forward, "My main plan/hope/aspiration for the future is to enjoy this opportunity that we've worked hard to carve out for ourselves: hit the road, play music, have fun, sell some t-shirts and, hopefully, break even. It's a tall order, but we're excited for this tour and I'm really excited for everyone to hear this current line-up of Spouse, as I think they're in for a real treat. If all goes well, the next step is to carve out more time later this year to begin working on the next full-length. That's as far as I'm willing to think ahead"

Thinking ahead just a few days, Bezo focused on a rare Sunday gig in an old church. "We always try to put on a show that is right for the venue. Whether it be a sunny, outdoor stage, or a dark, rock club and whatever comes our way in between. I'm not sure exactly how the atmosphere of The Stone Church will affect us. It's such a lovely, dark, mysterious room."

Spouse, The Fawns, and Ex-Temper will be at the Stone Church, 210 Main St., 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets in advance are $8 at stonechurchvt.com, or $10 at the door. For more information, call 802-579-9960.

Dave Madeloni may be reached at madeloni@aol.com






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