If you happen to be one of the lucky ones invited to Mary’s Third Times A Charm Pig Roast, then you not only feasted on some backyard cuisine–you were also treated to the sounds of Dann Russo, Desert Flower, and Planta.

Russo started us off with soulful singer-songwriter fare, and his strong vocals and relaxed vibe put us all at ease. We won’t hold the acapella singing against him because we appreciate that he wanted to serenade us despite a broken string. Plus he quickly got back on the horse with all 6 strings and sing-along goodness. 

Next up was the sultry and strong Desert Flower. With circular sunglasses hanging off her neck, the singer channeled Janis Joplin in sound and sites. If you weren’t already drawn to this woman’s rocker look, her voice turned heads. The intense vocals were matched by the concentrating band–each person brought their own rock-solid performance. It’s not often we hear such a bedrock sound from a young band. We loved every note of the blaring guitar and crisp hooks from drums and bass.

All this led us to the pinnacle act, Planta, who are not afraid to switch sounds, break into different emotional tones, and generally blow your mind. Frontman Ricardo Ponce takes the singing craft to new levels as he easily sailed through different emotional shades and vocal registers. The band continues to experiment electronically to great affect–making each song more hypnotic and catchy. Sometimes playful, other times melancholy, and generally all the time tight, Planta forms a tangible artistic expression that not many other bands achieve. Their set was wholly satisfying from start to finish.

by Nathalie Le Du


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