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“D-Squared” In Concert: Music That’s Anything But Square

By Mariah Fleming


If your sinuses are screaming at you to take a break from the Valley’s freaky haboob-a-looza, say goodbye to this dust and say hello to Sedona this weekend. Aside from the gurgling creek and stunningly beautiful red rocks, Sedona offers something this Saturday October 8th that makes the short, scenic drive a must. It’s an acoustic music experience of a lifetime: equal parts humor, irony and poetic elegance, served to rapt audiences.

I’m talking about the music of Don Charles and Deb Gessner, known as D-Squared and featured in the new Studio Live! “Homegrown Series”. The duo, natives of Arizona who hail from Mayer, offers a stunning diversity of lyrical magic backed by multiple acoustic instruments. Billed as a harp and guitar duo, the music of D-Squared can’t even fit into that intriguing box. Charles and Gessner combine remarkable perfection in a fluid celebration of guitar, mandola, banjo, folk harp, concertina, accordion and equally bewitching vocal styles.

In their debut release, “matter of life & death” D-Squared conjured up an animated universe inhabited by Zen bakers, migrating mud turtles, catatonic ex-wives and Fellini bees. My review of their debut release for Acoustic Scene said: “Deb Gessner’s ‘faux reverent’ aura framed by her folk harp will trick you if you don’t pay close attention. Her wondrous playing emits a gleam of humor and hope.” It’s a delightful fact worth repeating.

Their Studio Live! concert is the last of the D-Squared tour before they return to the studio for a new spring release. You can be sure musicandmoreaz.com will cover it with bells on. Their Studio Live! concert also offers a rare chance to get a copy of their in demand CD ‘Big Sky Full of Dumb Stars” re-released this year.

“Big Sky Full of Dumb Stars” was described by P.J. Curtis, an award winning Irish record producer with nearly sixty albums to his credit, as a “personal cosmography mapping the darkened interiors and starlit corners of the imagination. It’s magic!” It is praise of the highest caliber. Curtis has worked with some of the worlds finest artists including Maura O’Connell, Mary Black, Paddy Keenan, Freddie White, Stockton's Wing, Skylark, Davy Spillane, Dolores Keane, Liam Clancy & Tommy Makem.

All three of their CD’s to date; “matter of life and death” “Accidentally Live” and “Big Sky Full of Dumb Stars” are exceptional offerings. Each and every song they write brings a new hue to the lyrical color that is the aurora borealis of music created by D-Squared. For a deeper look into the collective mind of D-Squared, you can visit dsquaredmusic.com. When you do, though, you might want to wear an aluminum foil hat.