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Sister Neapolitan at Daniel’s Hall

Photo by John Mazzetta
Sister Neapolitan open for Avenhart with lush harmonies and gentle strums.

CU Denver trio plays historic locale

One of the CU Denver College of Arts and Media’s most celebrated groups, Sister Neapolitan, recently opened for CU Alumni group Avenhart at their single release show. Swallow Hill hosted the event, in the romantic and time-heralded Daniel’s Hall.

For those that have never been, Swallow Hill is a popular destination for an all-ages music program, which has been operating since 1979. Folk artists and fans have since flocked to the facility, built on the remnants of an old church, with three relaxing and atmospheric concert halls.

This particular environment simply made sense once Sister Neapolitan took to the stage; the perfect union between artist and venue. The group’s lush harmonies reverberated naturally and fully throughout the hall, and their gentle guitar strums augmented the vividness of their sound. The place was absolutely packed, but it didn’t really seem to matter. Regardless of their position in the room, the intimacy of the performance between the listener and the artist hardly faltered, resulting in a distinct and memorable experience.

The group played an especially tight set as well. Besides well-written harmonies, tunes, and arrangements, Sister Neapolitan’s performance abilities shined. The trio was able to mix their three individual vocal lines with expert skill, creating a dense range of well-tempered voices, song after song.

This included a heartfelt ballad from vocalist Megan Ellsworth to her roots in Oregon, which involved some audience participation in the form of a chorus section with everyone clapping along.

Close to the end of their set they even performed a remarkable Fleetwood Mac cover of “Gold Dust Woman.” Again, it seemed like only an obvious choice for the group, tambourine in hand and swaying a la Stevie Nicks. They also traded vocal lines over the last section of the song, developing a uniquely atmospheric quality for that particular tune.

Most of all, Sister Neapolitan is just a lively band to watch. They appeared totally comfortable and approachable on stage, each member providing their own individual light-hearted attitude to the entire set. This attitude didn’t waver even in the face of a broken string, a setback that might certainly discourage a lesser artist, but Sister Neapolitan kept on rocking like the whole thing was planned. Their banter between themselves and the audience members was enjoyable as well. Each preamble about a song’s subject matter was generally received with affirmation from the audience, be it about Oregon-based sports teams or frustrating driving habits of Denverites.

Those bummed that they missed out on the Sister Neapolitan experience should have no fear, as the group also revealed that they will be releasing a debut record on streaming platforms come November. The group can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where they are sure to post new announcements and shows.

Sister Neapolitan proved themselves to be both a significant CU Denver and local act at the Avenhart single release, a position they are sure to continue to fill with their characteristic brand of indie-folk.

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