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Live Lunch Break: The Advantagers

When a college-aged male in a Hawaiian shirt tells you he was inspired by American Pie, it’s only natural to assume he is referring to the Jason Biggs movie and not the Don McLean song. But in the case of pianist/vocalist Hunter Spitale, your assumption would be wrong. Rick Koster and I both jumped to that conclusion when Spitale, who along with Teddy Gudis is half of the Old Saybrook-based duo The Advantagers, mentioned that he was thinking of American Pie when he wrote the lyrics for the song “Gatsby.” The song, peppered with literary and artistic allusions ranging from Jack Kerouac to Peter Pan, was one of several instances in which the youthful duo surprised us with their maturity.

Many youthful recollections are variations on the “my mother was so mad when she came home to discover…” theme. Yours and mine might involve having a party when mom and dad were out of town and leaving a mess worthy of the Cat in the hat. What did these boys do to anger Mrs. Gudis? They moved an upright Wurlitzer into the house and built a recording studio in Teddy’s bedroom, where they would eventually record the band’s debut EP “The Apple.”

Their sound is melodic modern pop, with vocal harmonies reminiscent of more traditional folk, with occasional politically-inspired lyrics that harken to Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Highlights form their eight-song Live Lunch Break set include the wistful escapism of the aforementioned “Gatsby,” and the simple ballad “Sara Sails.”

p.huoppi@theday.com

Twitter: @phuoppi

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