R&B band Nina’s Brew makes Waterhole debut on New Year’s Eve

From left, Mike Brewster, Issac French and Giovanina Bucci make up the R&B trio Nina’s Brew. They will open for Annie in the Water at the Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge in Saranac Lake at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec 31. (Photo provided by Hannah Cormier)

SARANAC LAKE — The Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge will host its “NYE Bash” this Sunday night, headlined by Annie in the Water with special guest Nina’s Brew.

It will mark Nina’s Brew’s Waterhole debut. The R&B trio is based in Burlington, Vermont, and formed only this past May.

“We’re babies,” said Giovanina Bucci, guitarist and singer for the band.

Each member of the band brings different influences and sounds that mesh nicely when blended together. Bucci’s pluck-strum guitar style adds a soul vibe while percussionist Isaac French’s cajon playing gives them a poppy yet laid-back sound.

Bucci said guitarist Mike Brewster is definitely a lover of blues, and “his guitar licks add that super-tasty dimension to our group.”

Every member of the band is also a solo performer, according to Bucci

“Everybody takes the lead vocals,” she said. “Harmonies are a huge part of our trio, and they add a unique and dimensional aspect to the group.”

Nina’s Brew will be accompanied by Ryan Trumbull on drums and Chris Shacklett on bass. Trumbull and Shacklett are members of Lucid, a popular groove, jam-rock band from Plattsburgh.

Nina’s Brew plays mostly original music with a few covers thrown in to grab the audience’s attention.

“If you play good music, people will respond to it,” Bucci said. “We’ll play a cover and hope they stay engaged for our originals.”

One of their more popular covers is “Valerie,” originally performed by the Zutons and popularized by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse.

“It’s funny,” Bucci said laughing, “We spend all this money and time on other songs and videos, and the one that gets a lot of recognition is this random song we recorded in the kitchen before we even really started making music together.”

The first song the trio wrote together is “You Always Come Back,” a love song that’s so harmonious and peaceful you start to forget it’s supposed to be about heartbreak.

“I used to write from personal experience,” Bucci said, “being in a band draws out your expansiveness as a writer.”

Bucci said being able to collectively create a song is one of the best parts of being in a band.

“I bring zygotes of songs, and they take it to infinite levels I couldn’t have imagined,” she said.

Nina’s Brew will open for the Albany-based band Annie in the Water, a group with that hippy-hop vibe where the music is groovy and jammy, but the lyrics have a rap influence: lots of guitar chucking and bongo playing mixed in with fast singing and beat-boxing.

Their songs such as “Hey, I’m On My Way,” and “Sativa” offer an enthusiastic and upbeat energy for remembering one year and looking forward to the next.

“We’re stoked to share the stage,” Bucci said, “and we’re hoping to pour some good positivity and love into 2018, because that last year has been sort of chaotic.”

The Waterhole’s NYE Bash is not a part of First Night Saranac Lake, which will feature 18 different acts at 10 venues around the village. Nina’s Brew will play from 9 to 11 p.m. before the countdown at Lake Flower. Annie in the Water will ring in the new year.

If you go …

What: NYE Bash

Who: Annie in the Water and Nina’s Brew

Where: The Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge, 48 Main St., Saranac Lake

When: Doors at 8 p.m., shows start at 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31

How much: $10 advance, $12 at door