Poetry View By Michelle Diemer Poetry and the blues remind me of the perfect couple. She welcomes him with open arms, ready to share her love through words of experience and empathy. He doesn’t even need to speak, capturing her emotions on the strings of his guitar. Just a look between them ignites a powerful spark.

In Modesto, there’s no better place to celebrate the union of poetry and music than Smooth Grooves and Att-i-tudes featuring The Fine Line. Hosted by Jai’ Gallat, Elizabeth Sousa and Jennifer Hamilton, Smooth Grooves celebrated it’s inaugural event Feb. 17 at Deva Cafe.

What a night.

A packed house turned out for an evening of superb music, beautiful spoken word poetry and a short community open mic. Even with a slow start due to the band’s drummer running late due to a broken foot, I knew I was in for a musical, lyrical treat the moment the first chords came together on the electric guitar.

The hosts drew on the love theme, rocking sultry red outfits and seamlessly blending spoken word with classic songs. At the beginning of theshow, they interwove poetry with vocals for the unofficial Valentine’s anthem, “Fever” by Ella Fitzgerald. Here’s a line from that verse, written by local poet Elizabeth Sousa:

When boy meets girl his whole world turns inside out Temperature five hundred degrees A midday sun without a cloud Might just burst into flames Turn you upside down Your brown eyes so divine, divide me in two The more I stare, I fear I’m reaching one hundred and two Still, here come the shivers With every quiver more in love with you

The hosts invested a lot of preparation and talent into this event. Consequently, the energy and excitement of the attendees bounced off the walls. If you still don’t know about the whole “poetry thing”, Smooth Grooves and Att-i-tudes is a great place to wet your proverbial feet. They’ll be back at Deva Cafe next month, Friday March 23 at 6:30 pm. I hope to see you there.



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.