Ron "Ran" Waite Wing

In Concert: Chris Pureka

Chris Pureka and link.

Chris Pureka 
by Ran

  "My name is Chris Pureka for those of you who don't know," was the only introduction that we got on November 17, 2005.  This is when singer/songwriter Chris Pureka performed an acoustic show at Cazenovia College.  This OUT musician had traveled from North Hampton, MA.  She was promoting her debut CD "Driving North."   "Driving North" had also earned her a 2005 Outmusic nomination as Outstanding New Recording - Debut Female.

  Chris fit right into the college setting; she looked like a college student herself: with a grey T-shirt, a long sleeve T-shirt under it, jeans, a necklace and tousled hair.  She seemed shy and a bit withdrawn.  Her voice is pleasant, it's husky and a little breathy—it reminds me of a dry wine, with enough body to keep it interesting.  I have to admit that she had me tapping my feet to most of the songs.  She was unsure of the sound in the room, so she dryly added, "if it doesn't sound like Tom Waits up here...and as long as you don't mind..."  Her performance style is interesting, she rocks her guitar forward and backwards, as she plays, and her body is in constant motion.  She's a good guitar player; I liked the variety that she showed in her playing (including the use of an effects pedal).  At the end of "After All" she was tapping on her guitar for effect.  She quipped "sometimes I get a little crazy on the tapping at the end of that song.  Guitars aren't really made for that, some day it might break the guitar."  Her songs, like "Driving North," and "Porch Song" are filled with a lot of lyrics, with little repetition, which sets them apart from many of today's songs. Her repertoire included "Hold It Together," from her first EP, and a song entitled "Joline," which she wrote about a woman who worked at a used car dealership.  It was as if she was sitting around a coffee table with her guitar, entertaining her friends.  We heard tales: that she desperately needed a hair cut and the time that she unknowingly played for a music reviewer from the New York Times.  She made the experience comfortable for all of us.  Near the end of her performance, she thanked the people responsible for bringing her to Cazenovia College and for the audience who came out to listen to her.  Right after the show, I heard a number of the co-eds remark how talented they thought that she was--she was a hit!

  If I had just one wish, I'd wish that she had connected more with this audience.  Her face was fairly unexpressive; there was almost no eye contact with the audience (I was surprised when I realized that she sings with her eyes closed); and only minimal interaction.  She just didn't display enough of her personality. Thankfully, she was much more at ease and more comfortable when we chatted after the show.  You can find this interesting artist online at <>

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