Concert Review: The Jawalkers

Concert Review – The Jaywalkers – 21st February 2014

Reveiwed by Ben Macnair with photos by David Jones

The Jaywalkers returned to play their award-winning brand of Bluegrass when they played for Lichfield Arts at the Guildhall.

The trio – Michael Givernin on guitar and mandolin, Jay Bradbury on fiddle, guitar and vocals and Lucy Williams on double bass – played an action-packed set of original instrumentals and songs, alongside their arrangements of well known songs. With a foot in each of the Blues and Folk traditions The Jaywalkers blend musical technique and inventiveness with accessible tunes to provide a concert of attractive music.

The Jaywalkers

Their music ranged from opener ‘The Big Scotia’, to the freewheeling instrumental ‘The Road to Columbus’. The darker side of Bluegrass and Appalachian music was revealed in the narrative song ‘Caleb Miller’. Michael Givernin was allowed to show his flawless Mandolin technique during the aptly titled ‘Brilliant’ whilst the traditional song ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ was a showcase for the trio’s three-part harmony vocal talent.

The Jaywalkers

The second half of the concert contained just as much variety, ranging from the Bluesy swagger of ‘Jealous’ to a swinging version of ‘Cumberland Gap’, and the two minor chord soundscapes of ‘The Moonshiner’ and ‘Jack Go Sell The Fiddle’ about a family hitting hard financial times. They played a newer song from the Bluegrass canon – Chris Thile’s ‘Sleep With One Eye Open’ – providing some foot-tapping light relief. Set closer ‘Dark Eyes’ was a brooding piece with Russian undertones, allowing for a detailed and flawlessly executed mandolin part and some fine support from the other two musicians.

The Jaywalkers

An encore of the well-known ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’ provided a fine ending to another excellent Lichfield Arts concert.

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