Parlour Suitehearts

Last night I snuggled into the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater for the Parlour Suite's CD release show. The place was close and crowded for openers Charlie Parr and Joanna James, but lost some patrons by the time this newish trio took the stage. They haven't quite got their sea-legs yet, these Parlour sweeties, even if they were born ready for their cover art photo shoot.

Parlour Suitehearts

The dark-haired mademoiselle is tall and shy and averts her eyes from the audience as she bangs her tambourine. The fair one pounds out melodies on her keyboard, grinning like a meerkat the whole time. I think the guy standing between them with a guitar is slightly scared of her. (Later, I read that they're married.)

The three harmonize like a streetwise Carter family, with Inga Robert's voice, somewhere between Betty Boop and Bette Midler, setting the pace. When she sings "I'm so proud of my boys!" it kind of crystallizes for me: They grew up during the Depression and caught the country-folk acts that came through their little rural hamlet--but only the ones their parents deemed morally upright. Young adults now, they're living in a seaside town and playing sprightly ditties in a boardwalk bar for the WW2 troops who come in for a little R&R. Nothing dour, nothing that drags, please. Their debut album is called Rainmaker.

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