"Speaking of hidden gems, Chella Negro is a jewel waiting to be unearthed. She’s a songwriter born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin but don’t let that fool you. With her and Bon Iver, northern Wisconsin is becoming some kind of folk Seattle. Her songs are spacious, snow drifting snippets of a Midwestern landscape. But they’re not just some rural outpouring. There’s a precise and towering skyline in there too. Her album “Silos and Smokestacks” marries the city life and the North Woods. The music of Chella Negro is wholly satisfying, and, like a hearty bowl of Beer Cheese Soup, filling, nutritious and undeniably addictive."
“Michelle Caponigro’s backstory reads like something you’d see on Behind the Music. After moving to Denver a decade ago from La Crosse, Wisconsin, Caponigro joined a jam band called Purple Buddha, but found that artistic context a little stifling to her creativity. Adopting the stage name Chella Negro, Caponigro subsequently focused on her own songwriting — a stripped-down, folky affair with just a guitar and her pointed vocals. There sure is no shortage of acoustic singer-songwriters in the world, but Chella Negro (due at the Larimer Lounge on Sunday, February 21) doesn’t sound like she’s trying so hard to be just like one of her heroes. Her voice has a refreshingly unique quality that possesses both soulful resonance and an edge. Recently recruiting Darren Dunn, formerly of LandlordLand, on drums, Chella is augmenting her beautifully spare melancholia with a little kick. ”
"a wicked voice and biting lyrics"
“It’s not hard to settle in and listen for a while to Chella Negro’s melodic voice and breezy tunes. Even when the subject gets mildly blue, Negro always makes it sound like it’s all going to be ok. Still, she confesses that she has to have a “real job and it eats my soul every day.” *Overheard during Chella Negro at Michelangelo’s: “My dog is just fine without me for awhile.” ”
“These days, folk singers tend to tart up their arrangements under the assumption that the simple combination of voice and guitar puts too many people in mind of Boy Scout jamborees or other similarly traumatizing experiences. But not Ms. Negro, whose latest sticks to singing and strumming. The tack's not without risks, and at times, the overall sameyness causes the pace to flag. But Negro's crooning is crisp and sharp, helping her melodies transcend their familiarity, and she's capable of some sharp lines, like "Tell me how you fucked up and it's all her fault," from "Same As It Ever Was (Truly)," not to mention the wit displayed throughout "Your Bob Dylan." Silos & Smokestacks is uncut stuff, and when it works, the purity's invigorating. ”