On Saturday, August 20, Cricket Blue, a duo offering intense, soft harmonies and intricate melodies, performs in Phoenicia for Flying Cat Music at the Empire State Railway Museum located at 70 Lower High Street. The doors open at 7:00 p.m. and music begins at 7:30. Tickets are $12 or $10 with reservations. For information or reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-688-9453.
Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith come to Phoenicia by way of Vermont. Each is in their mid-twenties and together they form Cricket Blue – a talented acoustic duo performing gorgeous, original music. Cricket Blue fits the profile of the classic “emerging artist” – which is an act up and coming and starting to attract attention. Back when 45’s were hot, Billboard Magazine printed a symbol in front of a song’s name when a single listed on their charts rose with unusual haste. It was listed “with a bullet,” predicting a continued rapid ascent. One might say that Cricket Blue is emerging now – “with a bullet.”
This spring they released their second four-song EP Io. On the strength of that work, Cricket Blue was among the acts featured in the 2016 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase. Vermont Public Radio interviewed Cricket Blue on “All Things Considered,” and Paste Magazine included Cricket Blue in their piece “10 Vermont Bands You Should Listen To Now.”
Seven Days, Vermont’s weekly independent newspaper, greeted Cricket Blue’s Io with a review that raved, “The understated gem is as notable for Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith’s dovetailing harmonies and heart-melting melodies as for its literary bent. This is indie folk with soul and intellect.” The Burlington Free Press marveled at Cricket Blue’s “delicate guitar work and fragile harmonies…” while the Independent Music News describes music that “sends shivers down your spine.”
To date most reviews of this remarkable duo emanate from Vermont, since word of their velvet intensity is just starting to spread beyond the state’s borders. But that should be changing soon. Cricket Blue is one of three sets of artists chosen to appear at this year’s CT Folk Festival in September through CTFolk’s “Auditions Night,” a concert program where the audience provides the festival’s Board of Directors with written feedback. Their appeal is just too compelling for them to remain a regional act for long.
Caroline Shea, writing for the Vermont music blog B-Side, describes how, with Cricket Blue, “You’re lulled in by the sweetness of their melodies that are reminiscent of traditional Appalachian folk or literary indie rock like Andrew Bird and find yourself suddenly surprised by the epiphanies that their songs so often crescendo to.” A review of Cricket Blue’s first self-titled CD, which was published in Seven Days, speaks to their unique dynamics, “Individually, both Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith are accomplished singer-songwriters. But together as Cricket Blue, they’ve hit upon a formula that transcends anything they’ve done apart. Their vocal blend is immaculate. But more importantly, they appear to share a sensibility and sensitivity — the mark of any great duo.”
As such, Cricket Blue’s music stands starkly apart from what most of their peers today perform, much as songs like “Homeward Bound” and “The Dangling Conversation,” released by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966, differed from more standard hits like “We Can Work It Out,” “19th Nervous Breakdown,” and “Sloop John B’” from that same year. If you possess a soft spot for beauty, Cricket Blue is an act not to be missed.