Boston music news: February 1, 2008

Notes on the Cello Chix
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  January 28, 2008

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Susanna Porte, of the CELLO CHIX, says one aim in recording their debut disc was “to get people to quit bugging us with the ‘Do you guys have a CD?’ question.” The answer now is yes: the Chix celebrate the release of Under the Covers at Lizard Lounge on February 8. (It’s “chick night,” says Porte, as ANGELINE and EILEEN ROSE join the bill.) Recorded last year at Wellspring Sound in Acton, Under the Covers offers cello-and-drums versions of “Light My Fire,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Come Together,” and other rock classics. Porte explains that the Chix — the rest of the line-up is cellist Becca Thornblade and drummer Nancy Delaney — lean toward songs that are “recognizable without the words.” Thornblade performs with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Porte with the Lexington Symphony; Porte describes the Chix as an enjoyable hobby. “As a classical musician, I occasionally listen to rock, but I never listen to lyrics. For me, it’s all about the musical line. When you strip the song to the basic elements, you’re looking to the melody.”

The Chix audience, it turns out, is more rock than classical. “We do have a niche, Porte goes on. “I don’t know any other cello ensemble that has a classic-rock repertoire. And we’re one of the few cover bands who do covers without vocals: one, because they’re not necessary — everybody knows the words — and, two, they’re works of art in their own right.”

Aerosmith bassist TOM HAMILTON is at the Hard Rock Café on Thursday, January 31, at noon donating memorabilia and greeting fans. . . . ESTHEMA, the Eastern European/Middle Eastern/jazz/prog-rock band, play the Lily Pad on February 2. Their first CD, Apart from the Rest, came out last summer, and they’re now working on a fall follow-up. . . . And the MARK ZALESKI BAND, which I wrote about in this column last week, play the Acton Jazz Café on February 1.

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