Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Not a Love Story

I’m still reeling after an amazing night of performances last night at the Kerrigan and Lowdermilk concert, Under the Influence, at the Birdland. As I’ve raved about this songwriting duo before, the night was an incredible combination of some sweet tunes. I was impressed with the kind of narrative they set up through their song selection—an amalgam of their well-known songs with stories of the pop music that influenced them, as well as some covers of songs that impacted their musical style.

Perhaps the thing I loved most about the concert though was their decision to re-orchestrate and rearrange their most popular songs. In fact, the highlights included a (gasp!) male version of “Two Strangers,” a revamped version of “Runaway With Me” with the eclectic and whimsical Spring Standards, and a re-orchestrated “Not a Love Story” with Kait Kerrigan at the violin. There’s something very admirable in a musician’s willingness to play around with their music, and the beautiful new creations that came out of that play showed how malleable their music is.

Hearing their influences was also powerful. I’ve always felt that their music has such a distinct female voice and has a contemporary sound that is distinctly theirs. Ironically, this comes from the fact that they borrow from contemporary pop musicians, building a musical theatre reflections of popular hits.

So, through the power of youtube, I leave you with some videos of my favorite performances of the night: Jay Armstrong Johnson, Morgan Karr, and Matt Doyle singing “Two Strangers,” Katie Thompson singing “Five and a Half Minutes,” and Jenni Barber, Kait Kerrigan, and Brian Lowdermilk singing "I'm Sorry."

EDIT: Got a few more!

"Run Away With Me" with the Spring Standards:

"My Heart Is Split" with Vienna Teng:

In fact, go watch them all here.

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