WHAT? C’MON! Lively, funny, occasionally erudite and musically uninhibited, BARNSTAR! swung bluegrass on the Narrows stage Friday night that stretched from Bill Munroe to Mumford and Sons with its own elegance and exuberance. Old timey acoustic instrumentation with (in a good way) hellatious harmonies spun tales of death despair and destruction- and that was just one song that played like a Stephen King novel set in Barnstable. Rollicking reprises of classics like Cowgirl in The Sand (has Neil heard this yet?) and Stay With Me (Rod’s should have been this good) were mixed in among some sad, some sweet, and many raucous tunes all sung with conviction, humor and harmony. Two acoustic mikes center stage required a certain choreography for the featured instrument du temps which was occasionally elegant, occasionally awkward (Zach Hickman’s dance with his upright is alone worth the price of admission), and always fun. “Subpoenaed in Texas, Sequestered in Memphis” had the crowd howling and the few lawyers in the crowd laughing nervously. “Six Foot Pine Box” had a bittersweet melancholy that rose and fell with an immediacy that only their live performance can convey. Each member sings and sings well (yes, even the baritone!), and their harmonized vocals are joined by the musical muse in a way that calls you out and holds your attention. This configuration of individually gifted musicians gigs out only 15 times a year. You missed or saw one of those few shows Friday at the Narrows. If they pass this (or your) way again, GET OUT! and go see em. Its a couple of hours you’ll savor for a long time to come.
Saturday, September 30, 2023