LIVE: Pete LaBonne @ Caffe Lena, 5/11/12
Review and video by Joel Patterson
Pete LaBonne is the one truly mythical figure of the Capital District music scene. He makes everyone else look mundane and predictable by comparison. His edgy, wildman act prances along several borderlines – madness, inspiration, revelation, lunacy… With his shock of unkempt hair and perpetually bewildered stare, he looks as though he recently emerged from a cave somewhere, after an extended residency.
But he’d be a simple comic or a buffoon if he didn’t have a solid core of amazingly authentic idealism, a principled outlook spanning the length and breadth of reality that celebrates human foibles as well as the occasional glories. These philosophical underpinnings make him a seer of the highest order. He’s also a dazzling conversationalist, ultra-literate, expressing himself with a keen precision and refinement.
Musically, it’s all simplicity and back-to-basics: punchy, infectious, unforgettable. It’s a wondrous combo – potent blues married to extravagant wittiness. These guys come along once in a lifetime, and maybe not even that often!