Cachet: neat stuff to know about
vol.1 no.1 June/July 1998
'Artis the Spoon Man, In Gowan Ring, and Dawn the Fawn appear at Sam Bond's Garage'
by Mr. Greg
27 April 1998
Artis the Spoon Man opened the warm evening with his traditional fare: personally
political poems and jamming spoons. While I did not find Artsą poetry to be of great
interest, it clearly appealed to many of those in attendance. The best audience reaction
came, however, when he pulled out two flutes. With one in his mouth and the other in his
nose, Artis worked the audience to laughter and applause. The high point of Artis'
performance, however, was near the end of the evening when he was performing with an
amazing local blues guitarist. The guitarist and Artis worked well together and shared a
great rapport with the audience. What was most noticeable and impressive about Artis was
his ability to project in a dynamic performance. Artis genuinely seeks to communicate with
his audience and he does so.
After Artis' performance, Dawn 'the Fawn' McCarthy opened up for In Gowan Ring. Her
performance was an absolute and unexpected joy to experience! Dawn began by yodeling the
piece 'Waterfront'- a stunning song about an abandoned part of Brooklyn near her home.
Wired by pure sine waves of sound to my seat, it became obvious that Dawn possessed great
clarity and projection.
Dawn continued into her brief set by singing 'Only A Miner,' a traditional Appalachian
folk song. Even though she hails from New York, Dawn was able to pull off the voice and a
clear emotional link to the lyrics. Appalacian music has been a strong influence in Dawn's
repertoire. Not only has she regularly worked with Appalachian folk musicians, Appalachian
music is the foundation of her folk music experience.
The final piece of the set was 'Ode To Rejection,' an experience obviously still fresh
in Dawn's mind. Rejection demonstrated all the reasons why Dawn will be a great success as
a performer: astonishing clarity and vocal power, brilliant and sincere lyrics, and obvious
musical ability. Dawn is a woman who is worth traveling to see.
Having watched their friend Dawn perform, In Gowan Ring mounted the stage. From the
very beginning In Gowan Ring established themselves as a very experienced band, a band that
creates an environment to inhabit. Their lilting, soft song about butterflies marked a
noticeable change in the atmosphere at Sam Bond's. IGR's space is a tapestry: sometimes
soft and soothing, other times prickly and plucking. The players projected a grater sense
of friends jamming together for pleasure and fun than of people performing for an audience.
This is not to say IGR are self-indulgent musicians, rather they just seem very comfortable
with themselves and the music they play. What they communicated most strongly, however,
was their willingness to share their experience, share their world with the audience.
The best In Gowan Ring gave that night was their bacchanalian piece about Bonny Boy,
Bedlam Boys. This tune proved their ability to work together and create a pleasurable
frenzy. When IGR decide to jam, they are very successful. This tune also demonstrated the
primary weakness of IGR: a tendency to fall apart in transitional moments. Yet in spite of
this, their performance was enjoyable and memorable. They left promises for even greater
I believe this apparent weak link to actually be the most encouraging aspect of In
Gowan Ring. Clearly they are not a finished group, yet the fact that they can create such
a pleasant and distinct environment proves they are headed towards greener pastures. If
IGR is this good now, there is no telling how amazing they will be in a year or three. If
you have the opportunity to catch In Gowan Ring while they are still growing, still forming
their identity, do so. This clan holds great promise.
(If you are interested in Dawn's tapes or would like to help set up shows for her next
tour, contact her at: [It goes on to list an address for Dawn, which is now defunct. If you are
interested in contacting Dawn, then you can do so through us, and I will forward you her current