By Liz Tracy
By David Rolland
By Alex Rendon
By Terrence McCoy
By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
Ah, the weekend road trip. A customized excursion to forget about work, responsibilities, and life. Just get in the car and drive. Find a beach and relax. Sounds like a perfect minivacation, right? Not for Miami folk singer-guitarist Jayne Margo-Reby. Her weekends are different.
Margo-Reby has been playing gigs in bookstores in Naples, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Sarasota. Working full-time as a legal secretary and traveling on weekends with her husband, percussionist Vic Bersok, she hasn't had much free time.
"We just do it," Margo-Reby says. "People tell me I'm crazy. [Performing] actually keeps me sane. It's my creative outlet. I do it because I love it, and that's the most important thing. And being able to share music with people is the greatest thing."
On her debut CD, Natural Love, Margo-Reby's folkie style is reminiscent of Peter, Paul and Mary; Simon and Garfunkel; and Pete Seeger. The CD also has a full-band feel -- something much different than the stripped-down live sound produced by Margo-Reby and Bersok.
Her upcoming CD, due for release next summer, will reflect the raw, acoustic nature of the live performances. An early demo reveals that not only is the sound more acoustic, but Margo-Reby's earthy vocals sound softer, more subtle than before. (Think Jewel with life experience.) And the backing instruments are more exotic. Bersok plays the harmonica, bongos, bar chime, shakers, and rain sticks (hollowed-out cactus stalks filled with needles, pebbles, and stones).
Margo-Reby's songwriting style has also changed since Natural Love was released in 1995. This is due to her husband's encouragement.
"He challenges me," she says. "He writes in a lot of different styles, so he forces me to do more than I would do myself. [Now] I'm experimenting with open tuning, trying to write material that's more creative, trying to find different ways of saying things."
Margo-Reby and Bersok will perform at Savannah Coffeehouse in Boca Raton September 12. Until then the duo will be on the road, adding even more miles to their 100,000-mile-plus 1995 Mazda pickup. For up-to-date info on the duo, check out www.geocities.com/~margo-reby. Natural Love is available at most Borders bookstores, Liberties Fine Books in Boca Raton, and at all gigs.