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Making the Season Bright

Martha Capone and Bob Hume to share a little yuletide spirit Friday night.

Taking a break from their regular gig hosting an open mic night at in Falls Church, Martha Capone, of the Martha Capone Band, and Bob Hume, of just about every strong duo or trio in the area, will be teaming up for a night of acoustic rock and some holiday favorites at Cowboy Cafe Friday night.

The night before The Night Before Christmas should be a fun, easy, laid-back show, Capone said.

With her band, which is schedule to play at Cowboy again in February, Capone plays a mix of rock from the 60s and 70s, with a few newer songs by Sheryl Crowe, Joan Osborne and the like for good measure.

The Martha Capone Band is a strong trio, who reformulates and re-imagines songs like Fastball's "The Way" with a calypso bent, then seamlessly flows into a classic rock song, like The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes." But with Hume, it'll just be the two of them.

"Bob's so good, he can play anything," Capone said. "He's such a great listener, he can take a song and just go with it."

The two have been playing together at JV's since the open mic night there started in 2004, several years before she got her band together, Capone said.

"We play a lot of the same songs that my band plays, but it's acoustic," she said. "I just play rhythm to Bob's lead."

They still run the open mic night and play together at JV's several times a month, plus the occasional acoustic night at the same bar.

Capone said the duo might throw a few Christmas songs and other holiday favorites into the playlist for Friday night, including perhaps "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and some instrumentals.

"It's a lot of fun," she said of playing with Hume in a different location. "I do my thing, Bob does his. It should be a really fun performance."

Hume has said in the past that he enjoys the close proximity to the audience in a small venue like Cowboy, and Capone shares this appreciation of being able to see when the audience is enjoying the performance.

"When you can connect with the audience, it becomes pure magic," she said. Recalling a gig at Cowboy in October, she said one man stood in front of the band for five songs, saying he enjoyed each song her band played. "There was another group of guys hanging out there most of the night, much younger than the band, but singing along to the songs they knew and enjoying the songs they didn't."

The combination of Christmas songs, good friends and some beverages should make for a merry kick-off to the holiday weekend.

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