DeVoe rocks folk series

by Alberto Diaz
 

Jennie DeVoe, folk rocker and starlet sensation, blew up the Indy Folk Series kick-off last Saturday night. I was blown away. In a room of nearly a hundred patrons, the sight is spectacular and dually appropriate for the attention that is rightfully owed for lyrical poets like Jennie DeVoe. You could swear that you had stepped back in time to the beatnik era of Ginsberg and Kerouac. DeVoe's voice can make chiseled-chinned men with heavy callused hands sucking cold ones back after a ten hour shift weep, and love-sick tortured poets with hearts of stone and tongues of fire grow daisies from their chests. DeVoe's diamond penned words in songs like "Pale Blue Girl" evoke the kind of classical sexiness of Billie Holiday not to mention her reinvention of the forever young Janis Joplin in "Piece of My Heart". And she does just that - takes a little piece of you just to keep you alive.

“How hard can a house of God rock?” I asked myself. Pretty hard. Jennie DeVoe, folk rocker and starlet, played the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis last Saturday night. The Indy Folk Series kicked off its fifth season of bringing nationally renowned folk-bluegrass-electro acoustic rock and jazz artists into Indianapolis.

“The series began just weeks after Sept. 11, 2001,” said Dan Henkel, the show’s coordinator. “We were all asking ourselves whether we should do it or not, and then we realized that music was the most powerful weapon to fight back at such terrible atrocities.”

Now five years strong, the series has attracted much buzz and audiences numbering into the 200s. Saturday’s admission went to benefit the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

 

The audience sipped their wine and listened deeply to DeVoe’s words and the professional precision of her band. Hot red lights and pumpkin spice candles lit her her face; you could swear you’d stepped back to the beatnik era.

“I’m sure to come back,” DeVoe said after the concert. “It’s much more cozy than a loud, smoke-filled bar.”

DeVoe will be playing with Blues Traveler at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Oct. 29.

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