Broken Angel… Good music for grown ups.
By Mary-Ann Brandon
CUCHARA- Sunday night at the Dog Bar in Cuchara has long been a social gathering point for folks around the area. There is always live music and the atmosphere is very casual. Observing the crowd for the Broken Angel show, it was great to see that most of the crowd was paying attention to the music. Normally, this is a venue that provides live music as audio wallpaper for diners over which they can loudly yap. To see the majority of the crowd enthralled was a good sign. Musicians of this caliber deserve attention.
Broken Angel consists of Michael Feliciano and Jill Michaels. They are both transplants, Michaels is from Hollywood, California, and Feliciano is from San Antonio, Texas. They have settled in Pueblo but play frequently around Huerfano County.
Jill Michaels worked actively in the 1980’s in Los Angeles as a singer for hire. She was signed to Scotty Brothers records, and also lent her voice to the soundtracks for several movies. With Broken Angel, she is the primary singer and songwriter and is a fine guitar player to boot, holding down very strong rhythm that drives the duo. When I asked her about influences she cited Ann Wilson, Joni Mitchel, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby Stills and Nash and Patsy Cline. Later in the evening her version of Cline’s “Walking After Midnight” had our young waitress singing along enthusiastically.
Folks, this gal can flat out sing. She has a beautiful, very strong and very versatile voice. Coming from Nashville I hear a lot of great singers but it is my opinion that Jill Michaels has a finer voice than 80% of what I hear being signed to major labels in my hometown.
Her partner, Michael Feliciano adds much to the show with his lead guitar work and vocals. The harmony blend between the two is excellent.
The majority of what we heard at this show were cover songs. I have to say, their dedication to doing a superb job at cover music is very admirable. They have honed their sound and have managed to make two guitars sound so punchy that you really don’t miss a rhythm section. I was particularly taken by the original songs they performed. Michael did a song that he wrote back in 1975 entitled “Down At the Café” that brought to mind Pablo Cruise or Loggins & Messina. Jill performed two originals, the first entitled “Someone Really Ought to Tell Her about You” a song that could easily be covered by “Heart.” Her second original, entitled “Why”, sounded like it could be a Nashville country hit to my ears. Honestly I found their original music to be so compelling that I would have been happy to hear an entire night of it.
If classic 70’s and 80’s accoustic rock is something you enjoy, I urge you to check them out at the Dog Bar on Sat. Oct. 3. If you do go, ask them to play their original songs. You will be happy you did.