Thursday, September 6, 2012

09/05/12 Emiy Elbert and The Stray Birds

Every time you think you’ve seen the best of the best in up and coming talent, Dave manages to outdo himself. Last night Emily Elbert took the stage and within four bars we knew that we were looking at a great artist. Her singing voice was beautiful and rich. Her guitar playing masterful. Her songs intelligent and haunting. Her acoustic jazz and folk blend left you wondering where she will go next and how lucky am I to have gotten a chance to see her in this intimate setting before her career takes off in leaps and bounds. She bounced around the stage, pivoted and cavorted with a plucky kind of energy that can only make you feel good about being alive. The Stray Birds were a complete surprise. People like to talk about the “real America”. But who would have thought that the heartland begins in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They channel the best of blue grass and folk in a manner that kept your feet dancing and your hands clapping. How many times do you get to hear a band where each member can sing and play more than one instrument? Much like The Band each of them effortlessly took their turn at the mike, but because their harmonies are so intricately intertwined and the musicianship so interconnected the voice they created was always multidimensional and richly textured sound. The way they huddled together for every song as if they were one person was a delight to behold. While their songs are steeped in tradition, they are deeply connected to our contemporary experience. The audience couldn’t get enough.

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