My Sweet Alibi

Alibi

Photo: Arturo Gil

 

My Sweet Alibi

 

Azar’s Sports Bar

2215 Borchard Rd

Newbury Park, CA

July 17, 2016

 

My Sweet Alibi turned in a nice performance at Azar’s Sports Bar this past Sunday on a lazy afternoon in Newbury Park. Yet rather than settling to be just another cover band straining to deliver FM crowd-pleasers, singer Laurie Martz and her bandmates chose recognizable songs suitable to both the audience and Martz’s vocal range. They weren’t here to welcome you to the jungle; rather, mild cheers sounded when the band built upon the opening chords of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gold Dust Woman.’

 

The band adapted their sound to fit the venue and their afternoon audience. Between the BBQ in the parking lot and the smartly-mixed sound, it didn’t seem at all unusual to see one band member’s family friend in the front row beside her 11 year-old son, an aspiring drummer, decked in his black Metallica t-shirt clocking every move made by drummer Milo Todesco.

 

Todesco set the tone of the band’s muted, easy sound. The drummer respected the ears of his faithful by swapping out the heavy sticks for a pair of Fat Cat brushes. And the usual bass drum? Todesco put bricks in a plastic wastebasket, the type found beside any desk in any office in town. The result was a unique, perfectly balanced accompaniment.

 

Similarly, guitarist Sam Ortolano brought along a customized Guild acoustic, its sound hole filled with a Keeler processor only a tech head would recognize. Everyone else just enjoyed the warmth of the guitar’s sound and Ortolano’s smooth playing as it matched the band.

 

The whole effort came together particularly well on Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.” Ortolano and bassist Sam Norman grooved perfectly and the lyrics provided one of Martz’s finest vocal moments. Where Winehouse’s voice had been a whiny 70’s Motown squeak, Martz was smooth and rich. A good choice for a lovely afternoon.

 

 

MY SWEET ALIBI

 

Azar’s Sports Bar

2215 Borchard Rd

Thousand Oaks, CA

 

Laurie Martz – vocals

Sam Ortolano – guitar

Sam Norman – bass

Milo Todesco – drums

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