World Folk Music Association Review: "...Listening to 'Bright Paintings' is
like running into a longtime friend unexpectedly..."
The Washington Post said of Doris Justis "...she's a sensitive interpreter whose
attractive soprano never fails to bring warmth and luster to her material..."
think you've got a singer all figured out and then she comes along with a whole
teams with jazz guitarist Pete Marinovich for a dozen songs, many of them
favorite covers from Doris's extensive experience as a vocalist.
In a style
all their own, contemplative and, at times, surprising, the duo strolls through
the history of pop music, opening with a lush [Springsteen] chesnut, "Dancing in
the Dark," later lingering with the classic 1939 "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by
Harold Arlen, Lennon and McCartney's 1965 "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away,"
and the post-modern "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper.
contributes vocals, bass, light percussion as well as distinctive jazz guitar.
He wrote the upbeat title track as well as one other song on the disc, "The
familiar voice and guitar take to these songs as easily as if they were her own.
Along with a radio-friendly title from Sting, "Fields of Gold," she sings two by
Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Jubilee," and "Goodbye Again" (not the expected John
Denver song by that title, perhaps, that she might perform with Side by Side).
to "Bright Paintings" is like running into a longtime friend unexpectedly. With
this disc, Doris has a lot of news to share. Take time to listen to the music
she and Pete have produced.
Never did I think when we remodeled our house a few years ago that we would
be hearing live music in our family room. But it actually happened last night
and it was quite an experience.
At last year’s World Folk Music Association concert we bid on a silent auction
item featuring a “home” appearance of Side by Side – the duo of Doris Justis and
Sean McGhee, never thinking we would win. We were surprised when Dick Cerri
announced David Diskin to be the winner at the end of the marathon concert.
We finally got around to picking a date and inviting people. David’s theory was
that only about half the people you invite actually come, so he invited A LOT OF
PEOPLE. Well, they almost all said yes, so we had over 40 people for dinner and
a house concert last night.
Dinner turned out not to be a big deal. We split up the alphabet and assigned
salad, dessert, or beverage, depending on your last name. We made the (very
award-winning brisket, adding lots of carrots this time. Let me tell you, 20
pounds of brisket is a lot of brisket! Place settings and cutlery were Costco’s
finest plastic. And best of all, we hired Angelina, the woman who cleans our
house, to help.
The biggest challenge was how to fit 40+ people seated in our family room and
still leave room for the musicians. After dinner, we had a quick makeover of the
family room to move out a couch and the coffee table and set up numerous folding
At around 8:00 Doris and Sean started strumming and singing and the sound was
fabulous. The songs ranged from Red Rubber Ball (The Circle 1966) to Runaway
(Run-run-run-run-runaway) to Somewhere Over the Rainbow to songs they had
written. People were clapping and humming and singing along and mostly just
remembering where they had first heard each song.
At the end of the first set we took a break and had dessert and coffee (in
styrofoam cups, which I said I would never use but I did). Then someone blinked
the lights and we went back for the second set, which proved even better than
In addition to the wonderful music, what made last night so special was the fact
that we cared deeply for all the people who showed up – neighbors, work
colleagues, Micah members, book club friends, even our PT Quentin and his
My husband wondered this morning if the rest of our guests and the entertainers
felt as amorous as we did after that evening of music. This is a house concert
that might just become an annual event.
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