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If you're going to the Spice Girls concert Monday to witness an example of "Girl Power," you may be looking in the wrong place. A more suitable choice would be the folk duo Big Blue Sky. With Sue Crago singing lead and playing a crisp electric guitar and Jill Apolinario providing backup vocals and a driving electric bass, it's easy to see what girl power -- or, more appropriately, woman power -- is all about. It's also easy to see what performing means to the duo.

"The music is a wonderful thing to be able to share with your partner, and it's a great way to connect with each other," Crago says. "Although sometimes it can be hairy -- because we both work full-time jobs during the week and then play on the weekends -- it's still very special to be able to share something like this."

"It really feels like we have something special," Apolinario adds. "It's also easier to practice since we live together."

This year the duo has played at Warehaus 57 in Hollywood (one of their favorite venues), most of the Broward and Palm Beach Borders cafes, and the South Florida Folk Festival in Oakland Park. They also recorded On the Verge, their debut CD, which Crago says "is about moving forward. It's about taking risks."

Found among the ten songs on the self-produced disc are melancholy meditations on love, introspective reflections and comments on living among the famous and infamous in South Florida. In "Closer to Fidel," Crago sings: "There's Calvin Klein's old house, I wonder how many boys got into Calvin Klein's jeans. There's a yard where Debra Winger made it with some famous writer in a crazy love scene."

Although Crago and Apolinario are constantly compared to the Indigo Girls, they don't mind; they consider it a compliment. What makes Big Blue Sky unique is the intimacy conveyed by their vocals. Apolinario wraps her backing vocals around Crago's gentle lead like a big, hearty hug.

Big Blue Sky will perform at Borders in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, June 12 and at Borders in Plantation June 19. On June 21 the duo will participate in the Songwriter's Solstice at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach to benefit Connor Moran's Cancer Foundation.

To get more information, including future summer dates, e-mail the duo at [email protected]. Big Blue Sky will embark on an Eastern European tour in early 1999.

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Brian Hyman

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