Florida Music Festival

First stop of the evening was Scruffy Murphy’s to see Fairweather Friend, a group of young looking guys with a singer who looks unfortunately like Aaron Carter. They aren’t breaking any ground musically, playing straightforward indie-pop (albeit in a really FM rock vein), but they do it really well and sometimes that’s good enough. They are good and I should like it more than I do, and I probably would be really into them under different circumstances. I’d probably never buy it, but I’d certainly watch them again and listen to their tunes. It’s radio rock, but the way radio rock should sound—creative, catchy and from a sincere place.

I left them after 4 songs to run over to the inside stage at Kate O’Briens for the Kristie Deluca Band, a five-piece adult-alternative singer-songwriter vehicle. She started out playing flute, backed up by a drummer, bongo player, bassist and guitarist. I even got to hear a flute solo without seeing Jethro Tull—nice. Before the set finished she would also show her skills on one of those electric violin/fiddle things and acoustic guitar.

Her powerful vocals make the music sound like a hot soul diva-fied version of Dave Matthews Band, but with a little more R&B and less jammy, more jazz. I have to admit—it was impressive. Regardless of one’s taste for the style (and I did kind of dig it), you have to respect the talent. Someone needs to sign this girl now. Few artists I’ve seen this weekend would benefit from a major label, Kristie Deluca needs and deserves one.

Matt Gilmour - www.fsunews.com