Twenty acts come together for two days of music in Paradise.

FIDDLIN’ AROUND <br>Trent Smith was one of the 20 artists on stage during Broken Strings III.

Trent Smith was one of the 20 artists on stage during Broken Strings III.

Photo By Alan Sheckter

Broken Strings III at the Paradise Performing Arts Center Fri. and Sat., Aug. 22 and 23.

Burke, a sort of one-man-band, brought up the energy at this year’s Broken Strings event by utilizing his talents in music and comedy. The vocal-improvisator sang and thumbed around with his electric guitar, taking small breaks in songs for comically overdrawn, yet captivating, singing that can only be described easily as gibberish.

Now in its third year, Broken Strings III kicked off Friday night for two nights of music in Paradise. And Burke, who just started his two-wheeled tour, in which he will travel exclusively by bike and train across the country, has made it to Broken Strings every year.

This year 20 acts took the stage for a total of 13 hours of live music.

A wide range of artists—some familiar, some not—performed atop the Paradise Performing Arts Center’s large stage—from popular Chico natives The Shimmies’ sweaty plaid shirts and indie-rock antics to the fiddler lullabies of singer-songwriter Trent Smith.

The sound at the PPAC was particularly noteworthy. The auditorium’s impressive speaker system and natural acoustics brilliantly captured the performers’ instruments and voices. Erin Lizardo’s soothing guitar strumming was crystal clear, as were the groovy basslines and guitar riffs by the band that accompanied local hip-hop trio PRovoKeD Thoughts (who did a stellar cover of Mos Def’s “Black Jack").

Voice Magazine put on the event, with ticket and merchandise sales going toward funding for the PPAC and to help fund future issues of Voice. The off-and-on monthly poetry, art, and writing magazine is written and composed by children and teens from Paradise and all over Butte County. Voice has published 17 issues since it was started in 2005.

Although attendance wasn’t particularly high, each performance was well-received.

Few acts incited as much crowd participation as The Resonators and Himp C. They had the crowd waving hands in the air to witty raps, scratching, and melodies provided by guitarist Shaul Chrysler and keyboardist David Deveaux. And metal crew Iron Fish elicited participation of a more energetic kind, inciting a small mosh pit and head thrashing to an extent which the PPAC has probably rarely experienced.