Ehren Starks and Kate Gurba
Combining the mania-inducing power of highly concentrated caffeine with the inhibition-loosening ingredients of lady liquor, the Daily Dose Bar and Coffee House would figure to be an animal house. In reality, though, it’s a mellow hangout (see this week’s Night Ranger). So instead of enlisting Ehren Starks‘ soul ‘n’ roll revue the Gadjits, the venue opted for his low-key piano-and-cello duo. This isn’t a case of substituting a flavor-impaired nonalcoholic beer for a robust brew; Starks and cellist Kate Gurba provide a subtle yet appealing alternative. Though the Gadjits’ songs work hard for every hook, Starks’ compositions, which range from intricately arranged classical passages to stretches of minimalist melodies, command attention without breaking a sweat.