KS#37: Adam Arcuragi & The Lupine Chorale Society

It's late for a Kitchen Sessions, folks are circling, uneasy, not sure if the band's going to be a no-show, if it's too late, even for a Friday, and maybe the cool, new, downstairs neighbors aren't so cool, and this show'll get broken up before it get going, if it ever does get going.  And then, Adam shows up, with the rest of the Lupine Chorale Society, fresh from their concert downtown, and I can see they're tired, that he's already put on quite a performance, but the band lugs their equipment up the stairs and sets up, and then the real show begins.

You'd think this was easy:


There's something about Adam Arcuragi, about the way he closes his eyes and lets this unbelievable force of nature loose from his chest, but in a knowing, controlled, swaying-viper-to-a-recorder type way that simply takes my breath away.  He throws his head back and lets out melodic streaks and notes that seem in no way possible (his voice'll crack, he'll run out of breath), but he hits each one, every time, growing stronger, as though he's drumming up something ancient (good or evil, as yet to be determined) from the earth, and his peals break my heart but hypnotize it simultaneously. His voice and guitar riffs have a roots rock/troubadour feel, a la Grant Lee Buffalo (early years), which is emphasized  and deepened by the rest of the Lupine Chorale Society, in a breathtaking, awe-inspiring, church kind of way; each keyboard chord struck by Brienne Rose, each bass riff strummed by Andrew Gerhan, and every roll drummed by Juston Stens, made only all the holier by their tuned, thrumming voices.

By the time Spirit Family Reunion comes in (having just finished their set at the same downtown venue), I can scarcely believe I have space to be further impressed, but then they slowly crawl and morph into the room, picking up rhythms and melodies, using voices and tambourines, hand claps and foot stomps, and I realize I was wrong.  Between Spirit Family Reunion and Adam Arcuragi & The Lupine Chorale Society, the room becomes an instrument, sound ricocheting, drawers staggered open to emphasize percussion in a corner, and suddenly we're all singing along without knowing the words, downstairs neighbors forgotten, clocks hurled out of windows in order to make more room.  We have become a unit of sound, one with each other, in harmonies, led by our conductor, Adam Arcuragi.  I've been to a number of Kitchen Sessions, and all have been surreal and amazing in their own right, but this one, in particular, filled me so full of life and sound, I found myself unable to sleep afterward, so captivated was I.  What I love is that, even within these two, separate videos, you are completely able to absorb the encompassment of the evening, from what a dynamo Adam Arcuragi is, to the seamless beauty of Spirit Family Reunion's ability to meld and become one with him, and, along with, taking the rest of us.
- Abigail Gnall
Port Song:
 P.S. - Adam's set was much longer than these two videos and very impressive, especially his song "Oh I See" with Spirit Family Reunion and "President's Song."  I'm hoping to put the full set or atleast those two songs I mentioned up on here on a later update.  
The Spirit Family Reunion was there to back up Adam but they also play a mean set of their own, so here's a video presented by Visible Voice.  These guys are a powerhouse and you should really check out when they're coming to your part of town.  The closest they'll be to Boston is Northampton on April 11th but I very well may make the treck.  
 "Climb up the corn" - Spirit Family Reunion
And here's them performing "I'll find a way" at the Brewery Sessions