"Molto bene," indeed.
The Italian expression was a mantra for four regulars at Auburn Public Theater's Tuesday open mic nights this summer. After member Brian Franco returned from a trip to Italy, the group just kept saying it as their weekly performances slowly caught the eye of theater Executive Director Carey Eidel. So when he suggested the four play a concert there, they took Molto Bene! as the name of their band.
Sunday marks the first non-open mic show for the band, which consists of Brian Franco on guitar and piano; his wife, Amanda Franco, on violin and ukulele; Brian Beaudin on bass; and Zack Giancarelli on drums. The band began as an outlet for the four's musical talents: Brian teaches music Weedsport Jr.-Sr. High School, Amanda and Beaudin teach it at A.J. Smith Elementary in Union Springs, and Giancarelli is a former student of Brian's.
The group draws from a collection of about 20 indie rock covers from artists like Wilco, Grouplove and Albert Hammond Jr. Molto Bene! gives the songs a folk flavor, Brian said.
Sunday, that sound will be fuller than ever, as the four will be joined by cellist Andy Chadwick, Jackie Gibson on ukulele, violin and mandolin, and Darcy Gibson on lead guitar. The three additional players are also music teachers and college friends of the Francos who, were they located closer, would likely be full-time members of Molto Bene! Brian said.
He doesn't know whether they'll join eventually — nor much else about the future of Molto Bene! He and the other members are just happy to have the opportunity to play, he said.
"We haven't thought about it long-term," Brian said. "We just do this to have fun and get back to what we love about music."
Very good, indeed.
Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.