I was anxious to hear Shades of Gray, a group which includes excellent musicians whom I have heard in a variety of different bands in Rochester; this is the first time I was going to hear them together. So, on Friday I headed off to Bistro 135 with my friend, Janis, and I was not disappointed!
Mark Balestra on guitar(s); Harry Ford on bass; Emmett Ientilucci on drums; and Mike Pallini on lead vocals and keyboard. I could see (and hear) that Mark was singing backup vocals, and I'm pretty sure Harry was, too. Emmett's back was to me, so I don't know about him, but together they created a sound that was perfectly mixed instrumentally and had lovely vocal harmonies.
I used to go out to hear Mike Pallini when he was the lead singer with Perfect World. I have to admit, I was quite smitten with his style and his gorgeous voice. Hearing him on Friday night, it was obvious that his voice has only gotten better, mellower. When he sang a James Taylor tune, I thought JT was in the room. Was that John Mayer or Mike Pallini? Wish I'd brought my camera.
Shades of Gray - these guys are each excellent on their own, but put them all together, and what a delight! I can't wait to hear them again.
Just before their last set was about done, Janis and I, along with her friend Herminio, headed just down the street to Lemoncello. Herminio insisted. I'm glad he did, or who knows when I would have found this little gem. A coffee shop with pastries and gelato in front, a full bar and restaurant, albeit small, with live music in back, this place was really beautiful. Owners and gracious hosts, Fausto and Massimo Albano, have renovated what once might have been a laundromat (that's what I was told) into something that makes you feel like you've been transported to Italy. The stonework, mosaics (created by Fausto), textured walls - all the custom work - is absolutely beautiful.
Herminio treated Janis and me to Limoncello, of course, which was the perfect way to end the evening. I am looking forward to going back for dinner and dessert.
yours in music,