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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

‘Tabula Rasa' proves to be a sparkling gem

Monticello's Hulse releases CD

By Tamara D'Antoni  - contributing writer

By: Contributed
The cover of Monticello resident Sara Hulse's first CD.
Family and friends, from on stage and off, filled the already crowded Dancing Cat Saloon to welcome Sara Hulse's second baby, “Tabula Rasa,” into the world. (Her daughter, preceding this birth by three years, was also happily in attendance.)
Owner Stacy Cohen made sure everyone felt at home, and a celebratory energy filled the air as Sara took the stage with her band. The drummer, Derek Levintritt, has been working on this project with Sara from the beginning. Although he now lives several hours away, he had made sure to be there as this dream they'd had from its earliest conceptions was realized. He was heard saying “I would not have missed this for the world.

The guitarist, Paul Mutzek, has also been a driving force in this project, contributing his amazing talents by playing multiple instruments, as well as with the mixing and producing - and he also manages the band.
Sitting in on bass for the night was a collaborator of Mutzek's from “way back,” Ronny Rodkin, who came in from Manhattan to lend his skills to the line up, sounding like he had been playing with them from the very beginning.
Sara's lilting, pure, and sometimes haunting, voice speaks as clearly from her heart live as it does from her new CD and the way she interacted with all present displayed a genuine spirit that was truly a treasure to experience. Their performance did not disappoint and Sara's fan base grew as the night went on. Several musician friends were also invited to perform throughout the night, with Sara occasionally joining them on stage.
Tony Penn got the crowd going, opening the show, and the rapport between he and Sara was a joy. That feeling continued when Brad Commeau and Sara shared the stage, as she lent harmonies to his lead.
The wedded duo of Little Sparrow - Carol Smith and Aldo Troiani - were also there to share their harmonies, their banter as lively as ever.
Chris Cernak shared his own pure acoustic soul, with his little daughter joining him on stage-winning several fans of her own when she was lifted to the mic and she waved it away like a seasoned pro would a paparazzi.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a wonderful introduction to a CD that should be added to your play list. Sara's unique lyrical work weaves insight and observations with stunning sincerity that brings one to laughter, to heartache, and to contemplation.
The musical arrangements are thoughtful, and sometimes delicate, centering around her ukulele, and coming together to create a surprisingly poignant atmosphere. Sara Hulse's CD “Tabula Rasa” is a must have!

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