Presented by The Jumpin’ Hot Club
Where: Live Theatre’s Studio Theatre
When: Thursday 17 April 2014
Review by Stu Nimmo (Guest Blogger for April)
An evening of live folk music for this music ignoramus – basically something I would never usually experience due to my musical ignorance (to clarify: my ignorance isn’t musical, I don’t hear death metal when confused or experimental jazz when hopelessly failing in the pub quiz, if only I did – no, I just don’t know much about music).
And this wasn’t just folk music, this was two different styles of folk music; modern English folk from support act and local talent Pete Dylan, and Appalachian old time with a contemporary twist from Brooklyn based Dubl Handi.
It’s obvious from the start that Pete Dilley is a very talented musician, allied to his faultless and intricate guitar playing is a strong voice, they come together to perform a fine set of self-penned songs. It’s a very chilled out atmosphere throughout with Pete’s music being listened to intently by all present, each song is well received by what looks to me to be a very knowledgeable crowd. His music has depth, creating a mood, taking the listener to the head space each song is set in, my personal favourite being the dark, foreboding Jonah Brown.
After Pete finished his set there was a short break before Dubl Handi entered the fray, armed with their weapons of choice; Hilary Hawke on banjo, Brian Geltner on drums & percussion, and Jon Ladeau on guitar.
They slipped straight into their set and immediately transported me across the Atlantic, their music and humble affability a perfect match. A very accomplished set of musicians delivering what I got the impression was a mere selection of the vast number of songs they could have played at the drop of a hat – hats were worn by Brian and Hilary, neither was dropped – but that would be my only complaint as the rest of the evening was an excellent display of musicianship, singing and fun. Mixing original songs and great covers of old favourites seamlessly, introducing each in that clear, cheerful way Americans seem to have mastered my mind was full of scenes from that great Cohen brothers film Oh Brother Where Art Thou, which then intermixed and looped in and out of the ludicrous concept of myself as some kind of Bob Dillon-esque beat musician travelling across 1960’s USA before merging into an imagined back-country North Eastern states life in early last century USA (back to Oh Brother Where Art Thou). But Dubl Handi are a thoroughly modern set up, they’re on Facebook, they have websites and don’t wear only dungarees, so yes they take the listener to these olden days, but you’re looking back through contemporary eyes and ears, they’re a modern city based group, playing traditional music with their own style and joie de vivre.
Since the gig I’ve read up on Dubl Handi, they are the resident band at the world-famous Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, (not world famous to me I’m afraid, I told you I was ignorant) which is quickly being recognised as the epicentre of a new music scene in New York. Dubl Handi’s music does take you to that world of American folk, of old America, of dusty farms and land workers, but their modern interpretation adds a layer of the contemporary New York/Brooklyn music scene into the mix.