by BRIAN SLATTERY
Marriages gone bad. Greek and Roman mythology. Midwinter malaise. These were a handful of many themes in the fifth installment of “Songs and Stories,” organized and hosted by Saul Fussiner and held at Next Door on Humphrey Street — a full Saturday evening of storytelling from Jeni Bonaldo, Marco Rafalà, and Mike Isko, and music from Kriss Santala and Stefany Brown, Shandy Lawson, and Daniel Eugene that packed the pizza place’s back room and turned it into a listening room.
Santala and Brown — two-thirds of the local rock power trio La Tunda — took the stage first. “I’m pumped for this,” Santala said. “Are you ready?” she said to Brown. Brown answered with a squawk from her guitar. “Maybe,” she said.
She sounded ready, as Santala and Brown moved through a set of their original music, trading vocals and instruments effortlessly and keeping the crowd charmed the entire time. Without drummer Andy Beetham, La Tunda’s music took on a different character. The wall of guitar sounded somehow rough and lush at the same time, and the bass provided an almost gentle forward push for Santala’s and Brown’s vocals to float over.