LIVE: Parsonsfield & Sawyer Fredericks @ The Egg, 10/28/18
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Sawyer Fredericks Band: Sawyer Fredericks (vocals & acoustic guitar); Chris Morrison (electric guitar), Arthur Lee Fredericks (bass), Bob Henderson (drums)
Parsonsfield: Chris Freeman (banjo, guitar, pump organ, lead vocals), Antonio Alcorn (mandolin, banjo, vocals), Max Shakun (guitar, pump organ, synthesizer, vocals), Harrison “Whale” Goodale (bass), Erik Hischmann (drums)
In competition the same night with baseball’s World Series and Sunday Night Football, the double bill of Massachusetts-based Parsonsfield and Greater Nippertown’s “The Voice” champion Sawyer Fredericks saw a turnout in The Egg’s Sawyer Theatre that was nice, but a little thinner than expected. The surprise to some was that nationally-known Sawyer Fredericks opened the show rather than the lesser known Parsonsfield.
Singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks made it through the weekly eliminations of “The Voice” to win the eighth season back in 2015. Even more noteworthy, he was only 16 years old at the time. He performed on the TV show
with only his acoustic guitar, and afterward also toured that way in both the region and nationally. In the past year or so, however, he’s formed a dynamic quartet to further his songwriting by broadening his musical palette. Fredericks has several CDs under his belt, including including his latest, Hide Your Ghost, released earlier this year. At The Egg, his performance drew from that album with its well-crafted songs loaded with emotional hooks and tight arrangements. It was definitely a Sawyer Fredericks show with the others backing him up.
Parsonsfield (formerly Poor Old Shine) could be characterized as a roots/Americana band mixing together bluegrass, country, rock, folk and other genres. As evidence by their performance at The Egg, their live shows are explosive, high-energy, sizzling sets full of great dynamics and emotional depth characterized by superb musicianship. Touring in support of their fourth album, We, Parsonsfield’s collective repertoire was jam-packed with vocal harmonies and expert musical interplay, the five musicians often switching instruments to showcase their musical talents and create a tightly interwoven tapestry of sonic pleasures on every song. Though the band has only been together since 2011, it is difficult to believe that they are not better known and headlining bigger theaters. Their performance at The Egg was a truly memorable show.