Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: The Second Fiddles at Rodeo Bar, NYC 1/27/09

Oldtimey music doesn’t get much better than this. Along with the 4th St. Nite Owls, Mamie Minch and the Moonlighters, the Second Fiddles are equally good at rousing, pre-1930 blues, country and ragtime tunes, as they reminded at Rodeo Bar last night. With guitar, mandolin, upright bass, harmonica and piano, they bordered on psychedelic: although most of their songs feature solo turns from various members, the interplay between the instruments was so intricate that at times it was hard to keep track of who was playing what. Much of their first set featured guest resonator guitarist/vocalist Brian Kramer, who’s playing solo at Caffe Vivaldi tonight 1/28 and tomorrow 1/29 at 8 PM.

 

Their version of Sittin on Top of the World was laid-back and rustic in the style of the Mississippi Sheiks rather than any Chicago blues version. A similarly warm, upbeat, sparse number sounded like an early prototype of Sweet Little Angel, one that B.B. King might have heard and said to himself, hmmm…. They also ran through an upbeat bottleneck blues tune, a boogie, an Appalachian-inflected song that could have been a Tin Pan Alley ragtime hit, and a bouncy Big Bill Broonzy cover. Everybody in the band got a solo turn; the star of the night was the piano player, who kicked out some warmly crescendoing blues along with some tastefully minimalist honkytonk playing. To the club’s credit, the sound was terrific: you could hear everybody, something that can’t always be said for a band that relies on a lot of mics to amplify their acoustic instruments. They’re back at the Rodeo on 2/24 at 10:30ish.

January 28, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment