Let me quickly point out that DeenaOH’s experimental cabaret seems to be settling into a band to be called Dates, so be sure to be on the lookout for the new name.
DeenaOH herself is Deena Odelle Hyatt, a bluesy chanteuse who makes a living curating and supporting art around DC. She was opening as DeenaOH & Co. for folk singer Marian McLaughlin’s debut album release last week to a crowded room at DC9. The experimental nature of DeenaOH’s collective became clear when I counted nine musicians, including Ms. McLaughlin, contributing various vocals or instruments to the short set of songs, leaping on and off stage as required.
The songs hung together well in the amber of Ms. Hyatt’s bluesy, forlorn voice. The romantic “Moon Song” called for unconditional love over a calypso beat. Hyatt has a pleasing range, and she rolls through “Moon Song” with the cute trick of echoing herself in words extended like with “together, …together, …together.” Like all unrequited love affairs, the song ends abruptly! But the room fell into a hushed silence simply at the sound of her voice.