LIVE: Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge @ Saratoga Arts, 4/22/14

Julian Lage and Chris Elridge

Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Music isn’t math. 1 + 1 doesn’t always equal 2. Sometimes the music is greater than merely the sum of its parts.

And so it was with the recent marvelous match-up of two free-wheeling acoustic guitarists in a sold-out concert at Saratoga Arts’ Dee Sarno Theatre in Saratoga Springs. Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge are certainly no strangers to Nippertown, both having played here in various musical settings.

A child prodigy who made his network television debut on the Grammy Award show when he was 12 years old, Lage has played around town solo, with his own Julian Lage Group, as a member of the Gary Burton New Quartet and in collaboration with Wilco’s guitar explorer Nels Cline. An alum of bluegrass greats the Seldom Scene, Eldridge, meanwhile, has played as a member of the Infamous Stringdusters and the Punch Brothers.

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But this was their Local 518 debut as a duo, and it was dazzling. Stylistically, the evening stretched from jazz to bluegrass, with a healthy dose of old-time country thrown into the mix. Each took a few sparkling solo turns, but when they joined forces, it was something extra special. And it wasn’t strictly instrumental, either, as Eldridge added some fine vocals to several songs throughout the evening.

Two guitarists…
Four hands…
12 strings…
20 fingers…
One amazing evening of music…

Julian Lage

Julian Lage

Chris Elridge

Chris Eldridge

Julian Lage and Chris Elridge

Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge

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One Response to “LIVE: Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge @ Saratoga Arts, 4/22/14”

  1. Richard Brody says:

    Great photos of a fabulous show that included Norman Blake’s “Church St. Blues”, John Hartford’s “Take Me Back to My Mississippi Home” a rollicking version of the Seldom Scene’s “Mean Mother Blues” and a beautiful rendering of “Someone to Watch over Me” all played on two vintage late 30’s Martins that produced crystal clear sound. Another round please.

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