Monday, October 3, 2011

NPR's Mountain Stage in review

Attended NPRs live recording of Mountain Stage last night.  It was absolutely amazing!  Love, love, love.  So many new artists to keep up with that I fell in love with!
In the order of their appearance:
A guy and girl with a guitar duet.  The intro chords on the guitar captured me immediately.  Then Rose’s accompanying harmonies to Mark’s vocals took me away.  Stunning!  My favorite number they did was “Spite” which included another performer from the evening, Ben Sollee (more on him in a moment) on the cello.  It was one of those songs that completely envelopes you and captures you.  Where you (and I mean me in this case) are thinking about random other things in life one moment, and then in the next you’re completely taken away by the music.  Completely enveloped and swept away unable to escape, as if you really wanted to escape anyway.  Amazing.  Just amazing.  I’m definitely interested in obtaining some of their work to listen to whenever I please.
This fellow has been working with Ben Harper as of late, Larry Groce reported in his introduction of the singer/songwriter.  Joseph’s music was night and day different from Vandaveer’s, but amazing nonetheless.  He had a 12 string guitar that he knew his way around very, very well, and his voice was super deep and super sexy.  He soared in and out of 3 and 4 part harmonies with himself both vocally and via the guitar (the pedal thinger?..I don’t know much about that side of music).  A few of his numbers were very emo, spoken songs about numerous cryptic things, but I enjoyed him despite it.  Anyone who harmonizes so beautifully is a winner in my book.  Oh, and to top it off, he’s also a visual artist, a painter.  And his work will be on display in Paris this month.  Talented extraordinaire!
Wham, bam, energy!  Five hot guys playing an eclectic array of music from around the world.  Absolutely incredible.  SUCH high energy.  Songs that feature three fiddlers, even!  Guitars, a banjo, an accordion, a washboard, maracas, drumset, clackers, and of course, the fiddles.  These guys were absolutely mind-blowing.  A HUGE contrast from the semi-emo-rocker, Arthur.  This group is one that I am VERY interested in not only listening to again, but SEEING again.  Four (or five?) songs was NOT enough.  They danced, they demanded the audience to participate, they joked, they just truly love what they do and its SO obvious.  Aaaahhh LOVE!  If you pursue any of the links above to give a listen to one of these artists make it Scythian!
This man showed me that a cello is far, far, far more than a concert instrument.  The range of his voice was astounding; he is a really talented vocalist and cellist.  (I hope “cellist” is a word…)  His music swept me away.  The lyrics, the beat, the energy behind it all.  His percussionist was absolutely mind-boggling.  That kid is seriously going places.  I enjoyed him just as much as Sollee.  Together they could conquer the world, I’m convinced.  Sometime soon Sollee and the percussionist (shame, shame, shame on me for forgetting his name, well, his last name, his first name is Jordan) are biking from New Orleans to Orlando as they put on a string of shows.  Makes me wish I lived down in the south…
The final performer of the night was this Irish gentleman who is apparently phenomenal.  We only stayed for two of his songs because we were absolutely exhausted, but I liked what I heard.  He’s written a TON of songs – many for Bonnie Raitt – and accompanied many such artists on their albums.  He is very versatile, as well.  I wish I’d been a little more awake to listen to him.

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