As a market for music, Utica is often overlooked by major acts travelling east or west on I-90 in search of appreciative audiences.
But several significant groups have discovered that a worthy following is waiting in our area, as evidenced by the return this week of two bands with tremendous talent and grass-roots popularity to The Rainforest Preserve on Genesee Street.
First up in the outstanding Canadian combo Moxy Fruvous, who mark their fourth trip to town Friday night. In fact, local fans of the eclectic and energetic quartet from Toronto are further fortunate in that this show will be the opening night of the band's spring tour.
Their lyrics dig deeper into social satire than almost any other songwriters of this decade, while their soulful emotional observations and compelling melodies make them equally esteemed in the world of pop music.
It is this breadth of appeal that has seen them invited again and again to perform at the premier folk festivals in Canada and the United States, even though the foursome's amplified instrumentation and rock & roll foundation is often a far cry from what acoustic audiences are expecting from such events.
But in every case, Moxy Fruvous' intelligent lyrics, comic commentary, and vocal prowess win over fans from every genre and generation they perform before.
The band has so far released four CDs, as varied in character as the four who make up the ensemble. Their most recent studio project, last year's uniquely thematic You Will Go To The Moon (Bottom Line Records), will be followed with a live album to be released May 19 that will feature tracks culled from stops last fall in Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia.
This forthcoming CD will likely do much to bring together the varied feel and appeal of each of the group's previous releases, combining all into a context that fans of the band insist is the most enjoyable way of all to experience them - live.
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