Just saw the Punchies Summer variety show featuring Watchhouse and Sarah J. Enjoyed it very much and think it would be a hit with this crowd.
The evening starts out with all hands on deck, then Sarah Jarosz solo and with guests, blending into Watchhouse, and ending with a long Punchies set culminating in another assemblage of all. Multiple configurations that moved like a string band amoeba.
One of the real surprises was top-shelf cellist Nathaniel Smith (Old Smitty) appearing as part of the expanded Watchhouse. He sports an impressive soup-catcher now and I would not have recognized him. His additions to the first two Sarah Jarosz records, with Alex Hargreaves, were critical to her break through success. None of her bands since have had that spark in my opinion.
Sarah played and sang her heart out. We got part of “Blue Heron Suite”, “Build me up from Bones” and a U2 song and Beatles cover. She sounded great and switched between octave mandolin, mandola, and clawhammer banjo.
First time I’ve seen Watchhouse and I was a little puzzled. It seemed more like Saturday morning music than a Saturday night. Emo-grass? Shoe gaze Folk? I just didn’t get the memo. Nice vocal blend but all-in-all, I don’t think I’ll be back for more.
Chris and his boys brought the goods. An excellent set by the PBs. Smoke machines and all. They all sipped Pliny the elder (a famed local double IPA) to celebrate.
For the finale, they broke out an old spiritual “Where The Soul Never Dies”
“Dear friends there’ll be no sad farewells
There’ll be no tear-dimmed eyes
Where all is peace and joy and love
And the soul of man never dies”
A few more stops on this tour - LA, Mass, Conn. Penn, Vermont Get some!