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Joy Sumberg Sooths Mocha Maya's

October 1, 2006
Gregory G. Lewis

...Joy Sumberg massaged her crowd with teasing humor,
putting them on the spot. Light taunts were deflected with familiar
laughs. Whether coaxing memories of adolescent crushes or touching a few personally embarrassing moments like the
glancing touch of a butterfly’s wing, Sumberg infused
prose with personality and song with sincerity.

She possesses uncanny introspection, as demonstrated by
her prelude to Listen To You . “You know how we go through
our lives, and we do what other people want us to do, then
we go back to the center of our selves, and go, ‘no, listen to you!’”

Listening to “Rain” on her elegantly titled cd Joy Sumberg
(on the following rainy Sunday morning, no less), the difference
in sound between studio production and stage was remarkable.
Joy admitted her cd is more instrumental than her live performances.
Her Mocha Maya’s show was a simple, unplugged affair. Her black
Guild acoustic guitar color-coordinated with her misty aspect;
her understated presence was genuine and appealing.

Joy’s real magic was her resonant reminiscence of life stages, which touched on romance, as well as deeper interpersonal levels. Her sultry timbre is easy as an afternoon rowboat ride.

Some Mocha Maya’s presentations are more crowd-pleasing than others. There are times when you can enjoy a coffee with a friend, and make small talk while the artist is strumming in the background. Not so with Joy Sumberg at the mike, given her combination of warmth, intelligence and grace, if slightly tinged with self-consciousness.

Regardless, her enraptured patrons deferred their chatter for a spell, and even small children walking by on the Bridge Street sidewalk had to stop and listen.

Excerpt from Review of Joy Sumberg's Performance at
Mocha Maya's Saturday, September 30,2006 in Shelburne Falls, MA
Written by Gregory G. Lewis




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