Vernelle Anders at the MainStreet Station, Guerneville, California

Some of the members of the Oakland Music Club decided that we needed some healing the night of the WTC, NY attack, so we went to Guerneville, California, to the MainStreet Station to catch some sounds. We were pleasantly surprised with a new singer, (to me), Vernelle Anders with Wayne De La Cruz on piano. They understood what had taken place that day and did a outstanding and respectful job of entertaining a ninety percent house that night. It seemed that many people felt the same way we did that night and wanted to get out.

This is an acoustic house, (no mike), so Vernelle use the volume of her voice magnificently to satisfy the requirements of each song. I have seen vocalists use a mike to their advantage, but this lady knew how to use a room acoustically to produce the necessary sound or mood.

Considering that this was a duo, Wayne took advantage of the absents of other instruments to give Vernelle the vehicle she needed for the songs, plus maintaining his individual style on the solos. I was sorry I did not take my camera so that I could share with you some of the intensity that these two musicians brought to the stage that night.

Vernelle has a CD out called At Last that I actually purchased a copy that night. You can see my review in the October 2001 New Sounds Section of Jazz Now Interactive.

By Haybert K. Houston

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Copyright Jazz Now, October 2001 issue, all rights reserved