Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Virtuoso acoustic guitarists Loren Barrigar & Mark Mazengarb initially met and jammed together in a Tommy Emmanuel workshop at Jorma Kakonen’s Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in 2005 and then again at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) convention in 2008.
But it wasn’t until two years later that Central New York’s Barringar and New Zealand’s Mazengarb played together again as unscheduled headliners at the 2010 CAAS Saturday night finale. And that’s when these two guitar mavens knew they had something special going on.
The following year they recorded and released their self-titled debut album.
On the lakeside stage in Lake George’s Shepard Park last week, Barrigar, wearing a tounge-in-cheek grin, pointed toward the merch table and informed the audience of several hundred that they could get a copy of that debut and also their newest album, “Onward,” which was released earlier this month.
Launching into a Merle Travis number, the two guitar mavens traded melodic or fiery solos and continued their riveting repertoire of tunes that spanned the entire roots-Americana musical spectrum from blazing guitar-picking bluegrass to laid-back country & western classics.
Near the end of the night, Nippertown’s own Rich Ortiz was invited up on stage as a special guest to jam with Barrigar & Mazengarb on one of his own original tunes.
Opening up that evening’s fun with an all-too-short set of originals was the sublime singer-songwriter Rosanne Raneri.