Friday, February 1, 2013

The Stray Birds at World Cafe Live

Last night, I made the first of my three trips to Philadelphia (#26), to hear the Stray Birds at World Cafe Live.

I could wax rhapsodic about the quality of the sound, primarily of Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven's vocals (bassist Charles Muench held back due to a cold). de Vitry and Craven switched instruments freely, fiddle to banjo and fiddle to guitar, respectively. They played a wide range of music, performing with a texture of volume and urgency that doesn't come across as nuanced in their recordings.

To me, one of the real treats was the focus on music. Several shows I've been to, especially folk singers in intimate settings like the World Cafe, are as much story-time as concert. Sometimes that's fine, and sometimes not. The Stray Bird's focus on sound was refreshing.

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