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Spotlight on Alyssa and Danny of Tonberry

Spotlight on…
Alyssa and Danny of
Tonberry
appearing Saturday at Escape the Daily Grind
Sarah Hall
Salisbury Post
This Saturday you can hear half of the band Tonberry at Escape the Daily Grind as Alyssa Scott and Danny West provide a laid back acoustic set of originals and Decemberist covers, beginning around 7:30 p.m.
Unlike their Final Fantasy Tonberry namesake, a character which appears docile then turns deadly, Alyssa and Danny promise only pleasant surprises for everyone who attends.
Tonberry has managed to amass a solid regional fan base while dealing with the logistical challenges of having their members living in different cities. Their varied stages in education and careers have them scattered between Asheville, Charlotte and Asheboro. But they converge frequently enough to perform and record together.
According to West, the biggest issue has been not having big enough cars.
“We have to really think about where equipment needs to go and who has it and what fits where. We play a lot of Tetris in our trunks.”
These acoustic duo sets between full band gigs provide a bit of relief from the hassles of equipment-moving. They also give the fans a taste of the softer side of Tonberry.
What can you expect to see and hear at The Grind Saturday? West says they will be keeping instrumentation to a minimum.
“We really want it to be a sitting-around-the-campfire type of vibe,” he says. “You lose so much connection in the bar scene with so much clutter onstage. For this show, it’s looking like one acoustic guitar, a bell set and maybe an air organ. Aside from vocal microphones, that’s the extent of it.”
For those of you who prefer to rock out, you won’t have to wait long. Full-blown Tonberry comes to Salisbury’s club Three Fifteen on Feb. 23.
Also in the near future-the release of Tonberry’s full-length album, “Dulcinea.” West says the band is right now “nitpicking at the rough mixes” and getting everything ready for a late March release.
Dulcinea is a concept album with each song inspired by and named after a girl in West’s life. Taking it a step further, he has managed to have most of the muses themselves participate someway in the recording of their particular songs.
According to West, this has been achieved almost in full, but “one song I feel is perhaps too negatively centered and my relationship with the muse is sort of ‘acquaintance-y’ in nature, so I have inhibitions about asking her to participate. She may remain unaware of her inspiration forever which is probably a good thing.”
Aside from that, The song Disarray features clapping from the person who inspired it. Some of the girls are heard playing an instrument and some are ‘ghosts’ within their song, “tucked away reading relevant passages from the actual story of Don Quixote,” the fictional knight who imagined Dulcinea, the most beautiful of all women.
West adds, “Whether it be in song or in the album art design, they’re all there in some way. I don’t want to give their exact locations on the record or identities because I’d like them to be able to retain a high amount of anonymity, plus it’s sort of fun for people to try to figure out and spot where they are within songs. Sort of like an Easter egg hunt for the ears.”
You can check out some of these inspirations at http://www.myspace.com/tonberrymusic.
nnnEscape the Daily Grind is located at 316 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer. There will be no cover charge.
For more information call 704-636-0160.

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