The Ritual Cafe is a wonderfully eclectic cafe in Des Moines, that offers the warmth of wood and Tibetan prayer flags with modern furniture, a purely vegetarian menu, and great coffee in a very open and friendly GLBT environment. Every time I go there, I am always struck by something, whether it be the food, the peace of the environment looking eastward on to the skyline of downtown Des Moines, or this time it was the music.
As we entered the cafe, a voice with the energy and rocking empowerment of Ani and the graceful folksiness of the Indigo Girls came from the stage. “Once upon time I could fly. All I ever had to do was close my eyes, and I was a pirate captain on a distant sea. A Tarzan swinging from on a vine through the jungle trees. Because I didn’t know that I could be strong and still be a girl.”
Lojo Russo’s songs from Grandma to Girrrl ran the gamut of emotions from rocking love songs to bluesy sadness. During the set she also performed a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” as well as a great slowed-down acoustic version of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.”
During her performance I picked up her earlier CD, Stoic Abandon, which you can hear clips from on her website. During the concert, she mentioned that her music and life have evolved into a lighter place of celebration with a new love, which are reflected in the songs that she has written for her upcoming CD. I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming release, given the breadth of emotion and haunting lyrics from Stoic Abandon.
For those in the Twin Cities, Russo will be performing on August 28th at the bandstand at Minnehaha Park (scroll up the page to find the concert calendar) from 7:00 pm – 8:40 pm. The Park is located at: 4801 Minnehaha Ave Minneapolis, MN 55417.