Common Ground (independent release)
On Common Ground

By J. Bamforth

I've been hanging out in coffeehouses since I was about 17. Since then, I have subjected myself to many "starving artist" type groups on stages across the country. I have the utmost respect for them, and as a performer myself, I know that it takes a lot of balls to get up and promote your art to an apathetic audience and for no pay. Most of the talent is mediocre at best and will never get anymore respect than they are getting now, and some just suck. Every now and then, though, I run across that rare pearl that make all those lonely nights bent over a notebook and latte worth it.

On Common Ground (or "OCG" as their promotional material reads) are now the hosts of Twice Told's open stage nights in the Highlands (Wednesday nights at 9 p. m., come out and support local talent!). Their debut CD, Common Ground, features what can only be described as coffeehouse music. Marie Augustine tells it like it is: all of her songs are straight shots from the heart. From the political "Mother Teresa" through the lazy day "Fishin's A Little Bit of Heaven" to her lament on modern life, "Prisoner of Time," every song is a small glimpse into the soul of a real person.

I saw OCG live before I had heard their CD. While I enjoyed the live show with Marie and percussionist Warren Hester, the album's inclusion of everything from flutes and mandolins to a more electric sound was a surprise. The varied instrumentation on the CD only compliments the wide range of sounds that are enveloped by the previously mentioned genre of music known as "coffee house." There is a little something for everyone on this CD, and you can only get them from the band itself right now (I think). So get yourself a mocha from the barista, sit back and enjoy.