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Zoë Lewis ~ 2013 December 31 ~ Chatham First Night ~ Chatham, MA

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Zoë Lewis on vocals, accompanying herself on guitar, foot tambourine, ukulele, kazoo, electric piano, harmonica, washboard, and bicycle bell ... and that was all in a 45 minute set.


Concert Going Partner and I decided to ring in the New Year at Chatham's First Night. A 45 minute set by local Cape Cod folk singer Zoë Lewis was the highlight. She played a 45 minute set at 4:00 pm at the Chatham High School auditorium. Surprisingly, the auditorium was only about three-quarters full, but many of the audience members knew Zoë's catalog and knew when to sing along, when to shout in delight, and when to make (or attempt to make) south-of-the-border vocalizations. A young audience member named Madison got to play along on a couple of songs on the New Year's Eve noisemaker she had in her possession.

So ... Zoë Lewis! How is it possible I have never seen this amazing performer before? She sang songs, told stories, played an astonishing variety of instruments (see list above; I think I got them all), and throughout her brief set sparkled with an enthusiasm and joy of living that was infectious and left me wanting more. Most of her songs had a silly element; I mean, really, a song about riding a bicycle with musical accompaniment a washboard; or a blues song where the lyrics are all names of breakfast foods! She packed a good deal of musical variety into the short set, including blues, folk, and salsa tunes. She was wonderful!

Fortunately Zoë lives in Provincetown on the Cape, and it looks likely that we'll be able to see her perform again soon.

Other highlights of our visit to First Night were the Cirque Du Jour, performing at Chatham High School in the gym right next to Zoë. This was a dazzling performance by a group of very talented young people, who did amazing things with stunt bicycle riding, hula hoops, aerial acrobatics, Old West style lassos and whips, juggling, and some good old fashioned silly clowning around. We saw an excellent fireworks display at Veterans Field in the early evening. Then we wrapped up our evening with an enjoyable set by a local band with guitars and drums and a lively stage presence called the Tim Sweeney Trio (the name seemed odd, since they were a four-piece band), who played mostly hits from the '60s with a few originals.

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