CONCERT REVIEW – Local performers express folk talent at North Beach Bandshell

On Saturday, Sept. 10, at the North Beach Bandshell, amid a backdrop of painted palm trees and art deco aqua and blue, close to 100 people gathered to see two local performers’ unique takes on acoustic folk music.

The first act, Raffa Jo and Rainer Davies, performed a quiet, intimate set, with audience members sitting cross-legged on the stage a few feet away. Raffa’s quirky original songs were perfectly complemented by her sweet, lilting voice and Davies’ tasteful guitar picking. The final song, about a girl contemplating becoming a bug, featured the line,”maybe I’m better off being just what I am / no one can smash me just with one hand.”

Next was Jesse Jackson, a singer-songwriter who has called Miami his home since 2000. Clad in plaid pajama pants and playing a Latin American instrument called the cuatro, Jackson’s commanding voice emanated from a tiny amplifier, the distortion causing him to sound like Delta blues singer from the 1930s howling out of a Victrola record player. As he played a minor key strut about lovemaking in a telephone booth “on a little bit of whisky and vermouth,” one could almost imagine the mural of a serene bayside behind him turning into the fa