Abalone Grey & B and the Hive

If poetry digs deeper than prose, then music curls its fingers beneath our bottommost roots as it presses upon each sense to extract sentiments we may not have known were there. We perk up. We listen. We begin to stomp our boots, to hoot n holler, to hold each other and swing round and round as we’re swept away on a wave that belongs to us all. Music is shared, not lent or given. Everyone has a say in where it goes regardless of which side of the microphone you may be standing. It takes a village, as they say. The two bands playing our final For the Folks of 2017 use their every part to create songs that rush toward the audience with open arms. Join us, the songs cry out, breathe into us and make us more than we could become on our own. Nothing and no one is left out, and the result is a collective experience capable of reaching heights that no other medium can begin to approach.

Abalone Grey throws the kitchen sink at every song. Each member gathers up all they have, all they’ve worked for and dreamt about and strived to become, and they weave it together before offering it up to their crowd. The fruit of their labor isn’t the stuff that sits on a table in an oil painting, it’s twined and veiny and full of earth. It comes from a real place. To listen to their recordings is to get to know them; to see them play in person is to fall in love. They are willing and ready to go fifteen rounds with each song before they get it right, and hints of that struggle inform the band’s story like lines on an aging face. By the time the music reaches the audience, it need only be embraced in order to embark on a new life in new hands. The hard work has already been done.

B and the Hive is a steam train that just keeps on coming. Their sound is made more to be felt than just heard and they feed off the live performance as if every one might be their last. No moments are lost or neglected when they put their hands together, rather they build off each other and embark on a mission to see just where their music will take them on any given night. This relentless pursuit has taken them up and down the coast as they win over one audience at a time, and to enter their world is to watch them grow before your very eyes. Their enthusiasm seeps off the stage and burrows itself in the crowd, and when they move on toward their next stop they leave fully loaded with new friends behind them as they zero in on the next set of people poised to discover them.

A grand finale means leaving nothing on the table. For the Folks is but a mirror to our community, albeit a fun house mirror that brings out our best qualities, and as bands show up to give us all they’ve got, we come out in droves to give it right back. These are the salad days, the fading prints of youthful smiles and dancing babies, a time for fist pumps and hand holding. We’re making new friends and celebrating the old ones. The world may crumble around us, but we’re standing tall, showing em how it’s done, because honestly, who’s got it better than we do?