Show Review: Raised by Swans-- Barefoot in the Phog

The (sound)waves of the Cascade; a Pink Moth and Swans. Mid-February is a little too early for these sights and sounds of a barefoot walk in the park. The next best thing was walking into the Phog Lounge on  Sat., Feb. 12.

Opening band Two For the Cascade, besides being one of N2D's "Bands we most wanted to hear more from" in 2010, on a second listen also gets our vote for "Most unlikely combination that works." They are a study in contrasts: Kevin Buckridan's furious guitar work, his roadhouse vocals paired with statuesque wife Stefanie Zaccagnini's smoky voice, George Manury's capable drumming (surely the hardest working indie musician in Windsor), all doused in the B-movie effects of the theremin played by Holly Brush.

With just a guitar for accompaniment, Pink Moth, the alter ego of London's Ray Cammaert, provided a quiet interlude that showcased more of his folk music than his experimental explorations. Cammaert is in the middle of an ambitious six EP project (he's been producing one every two months) and preparing for an overseas tour that begins at the end of March. "Touring is great," said Ray. "Canada is great, and Europe is even better. I'm going for two months."

Raised By Swans, on a small stage in the best live intimate venue in Canada, are the musical mirror to the poise and elegance of their namesake: the graceful, beautiful swan, gliding across a pond. RBS's ethereal stylings, anchored by the precision of Brady Parr's drumming, offered another flawless performance of songs from 2010's No Ghostless Place and 2005's Codes And Secret Longing. Barefoot in the dead of winter, Eric Howden's vocals warmed our ears. Alex Wright's thoughtful guitar, bassist Andy Magoffin and guest keyboardist Pink Moth completed the musical picture for the evening. It's a sound so enchanting that Erin, a student from Bowling Green, Ken., drove all the way to Windsor just to see them. "While watching the film Chloe," said Erin, "I was captivated by the music and had to find more about the band."

Photos: Russ Gordon