Streetlight Cadence, Blue Note Hawaii, March 20, 2022
Three years ago I experienced Streetlight Cadence (SLC) for the first time. The alternative folk group stood out because of their positive outlook, unique instrumentation, distinctive arrangements, and endless energy. A lot has changed, but much has stayed the same during the last three years.
Although Jesse Shiroma (accordion) has departed the band, SLC continues to be the fun loving, spirited band who honed their craft while busking on the streets of Waikiki. The current trio, Jonathan Franklin (violin), Brain Webb (cello), and Ben Chai (guitar/drums) played five shows in Hawaii. The band performed in Maui, the Big Island, and Oahu, concluding with a pair of shows at The Blue Note Hawaii in Honolulu. These dates, the “just before midnight tour” were to promote the bands upcoming release, Midnight.
Early on in the set, the band informed fans that Midnight consisted of SLC’s favorite tracks, re-recorded, with the acoustic authenticity expected from the band. These tracks highlighted the close to ninety minute set. The band’s distinct storytelling/songwriting method was displayed on the love songs “Thinking of You” and “Rooftops” and the heartbreak featured in the verses of “Streetlights and Sirens” and “I Can’t Do This.” It must be noted that violinist Jonathan Franklin was playing the show with a recently broken finger, which did not slow the band down one bit. During the set SLC was joined intermittently by Evan Arashiro on drums, original member Matt Mariconda, on guitar, and Clara Stegall, also filling in on guitar.
The band ended their set with “End of the World” and after a short break the entire ensemble came out for a hoedown version of Charlie Daniels “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” Overall the band’s energy was infectious and the trio demonstrated an enormous love for music and their friendship during their live performance.
The future looks bright for the band. Midnight is currently being mixed and plans are to have it out in June. In May the band will be playing at Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City, Missouri and will be at The String Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado this summer.