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August 11, 2005

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Bauder Road

by Lea MacDonald

Tom Revell of Bauder Road, and two of the Baudettes

Marshalling a group of artists possessing eclectic musical backgrounds, Tom Revell and Bauder Road made their astonishingly melodious debut this weekend past at the Verona Festival.

Bauder Road resulted from collaboration between Tom Revell and Bill Kendall, who had been approached by Festival organisers with the idea of performing live the festival's theme song 'Cameron.' The song had originally been written by Bill Kendall then produced and recorded by Tom Revell. The pair then decided it might be fun to add a few more songs for a festival performance; in short order 13 more songs were chosen.


Bauder Road performed songs recorded by what is easily the most important and beloved music group of the last 50 years, The Beatles. Beatles' music remains such an enduring touchstone for untold millions that having The Beatles vicariously return through Bauder Road, even though one Beatle endures solely in spirit, took a touch of finality out of Lennon's death.

To round out their remarkable musical repertoire the group added a dash of Motown (My Girl - The Temptations) then a sprinkle of Ray Charles (Hit the Road Jack), and culled wildly enthusiastic mid-song applause by a dazzling performance of the Moody Blues classic, Nights in White Satin.

"Leave them wanting more and you know they'll call you back," said American singer, guitarist and songwriter, Bobby Womack. Bauder Road took Womack's words to heart by concluding an outstanding performance with their uniquely moving arrangement of a Leonard Cohen song titled, "Hallelujah." Tom Revell confessed he'd taken two renditions of the song, Cohen's version and John Cale's performance heard in the movie Shrek, to arrange the band's debut concluding song.

Barely two bars into the song the audience released a gasp of recognition. The song built until the band's drummer, Jeff Babcock, performed a powerful and perfectly syncopated transition for the vocalists to give way to lead guitarist Remco Rodrigues. Rodrigues then styled a soaring and majestic solo so stunningly Frampton-esque in its delivery that it sent chills through the audience.

Bass guitarist Norm Green laid the first note of each bar for the song's chords until, one by one, the instruments fell away, leaving choral voices singing a cappella (raw vocal talent). For lack of a better term, the Baudettes, Colleen Kendall, Lisa Fenwick, Janet Revell, and Inez Platenius floated not only the closing song but the entire band on harmonies so full they sounded more like a philharmonic choir than 4 backup singers.

The conclusion of the show confirmed my ears had not deceived me when the audience shot to their feet delivering a heartfelt standing ovation to Bauder Road – an entertainment superhighway.

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