Music Review: The Abrams Brothers a delightful surprise at Community Concerts of RSF

By Dr. Jack Wheaton

One of the joys of the Community Concert Series is the constant surprises our audiences receive when in attendance.  I can’t remember one concert in five years in which I was bored or disappointed, but one of the biggest surprises was the recent performance of The Abrams Brothers — three young men, ages 22, 19, and 22 (John, James and  Elijah) — guitar: John; amplified violin: James; electric and acoustic bass: Elijah. One-and-a-half hours from these three boys — are you kidding?

No, I’m not kidding and they played (well) in every genre except classical, which they didn’t bother with, but I’m sure they would have done something in the classical genre very well too.  We heard Southern Gospel, Blue Grass, early jazz (Irving Berlin’s “Lady Be Good”), the Blues, Country Western, Appalachian Music, Folk, etc.  I’ve never attended a program with greater diversity in style — stage demeanor and body language outstanding!

Dynamics not too loud or too soft, program introductions and comments very natural, sometimes humorous, and always professional. What else would you expect from a group of young players — well tutored, fourth generation musicians. Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie,  Dolly Parton, and many other Southern music artists have all been blown away  by their talent, the program, and the beautiful honesty and natural skill displayed here.

Humility, a rare commodity these days, particularly among musical artists, was  constantly demonstrated by these three Canadian musicians.

Now, a critic like myself is always supposed to find something wrong with the program, the presentation, the dynamics, the interpretation of the musical styles, etc.  I’m sorry, but the only thing I could find was the bass player wore his hat indoors while playing —but very hip!

The next concert will be held in RSF on Nov. 9. See page 12 of this newspaper or visit www.communityconcertsofranchosantafe.com or call Holly Wilson at 858-523-9585 for more information.

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