In short the evening was an amazing night of two extraordinary guitar players.
The interplay between the duo Lage & Eldridge kept the packed audience at Johnny Brenda’s silent throughout the evening. Their compositions are what happens when bluegrass, jazz, classical and the avant-garde are synthesized trough the two.
Every note was a breath the two took as they read and played off each effortlessly often improvising intricate and delicate melodies to rhythms. The sound was outstanding with both players unplugged playing to the mic between them. The music was fresh and genuine. For Critter from their first recording together was the first of many pieces that brought an eruption of applause. Each twist and turn in their arsenal of sound exemplified their understanding of harmonic structure and ability to communicate. The tonal qualities of the two guitars highlighted the presentation.
“Two dudes playing guitar for a room full of standing up people is something we can’t take for granted” said Eldridge as they introduced their final song of the night. The one hour twenty-minute set was a mix of originals and standards that went by to fast. Eldridge was correct in his assessment. Brenda’s is a standing room venue with a few bar stools on the balcony. They held the audience on every note; the only sound one could hear came from their guitars.
Lage is a renowned jazz guitarist who has collaborated with a range of musicians—Nels Cline, Gary Burton, and Fred Hersch, to name a few. According to the New Yorker, he belongs “in the highest category of improvising musicians, those who can enact thoughts and impulses as they receive them.” Eldridge is a veteran of the bluegrass world, cutting his teeth in the legendary outfits the Seldom Scene and the Infamous Stringdusters before anchoring Punch Brothers, an acoustic supergroup that combines folk instrumentation with pop and experimental songcraft. When they play together, however, they do not represent the genres or styles with which they have long been identified. Instead, they make music simply as friends and individuals who happen to have unique ideas and techniques.
I wish I knew about this show sooner. It’s sold out. This is from the bands Bio:
Darlingside delivers a truly moving blend of subtlety, power, outstanding vocal quality and contemporary songwriting. The Boston based quartet features four distinct voices clustered around a single microphone; their tightly-arranged tunes drawing from the unexpected, including strains of bluegrass, classical, and even barbershop. Accompanied by an arsenal of classical strings, guitars, mandolin, and percussion, these four close friends swap instruments from song to song and offer a sound that defies standard genre classifications.
1201 Frankford Ave
Philadelpha, PA 19125