Last night (1/6/11) the McConnell Arts Center, here in Worthington, Ohio, kicked off it's 2011 series of "Thursday Evening Music at the MAC" - featuring the brilliant duo of Denison University music professors, Tom Carroll (guitar/bass) and Andy Carlson (fiddle/guitar.) Those fortunate few attendees that fought the urge to stay home due to the horrible snowy weather were treated to an evening of total musical magic.
The first set Tom and Andy donned their "formal" instruments as a duo (Tom on his beautiful blonde L-5 Gibson and Andy on his pre-1800s violin) played a variety of slow and up tempo "swing" tunes made popular by the legendary duo of Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli. They played and interacted with each other brilliantly as the set was all too soon over.
When they returned they had morphed into their "tongue-in-cheeck" alter eos: Lazy Boy and the Recliners - with Joe Long on drums. This is where they roll back the clock to when they were teenagers playing in rock n' roll and country bands - Andy on Fender, and Grestch guitars and Tom on bass. They tore the house up with Buddy Holly, Elvis (Andy playing the Grestch as Scotty Moore would have), Carl Perkins, Santo & Johnny tunes... etc. Rock-a-Billy music to die for.
Tom Carroll has long been a local icon of jazz guitar around Columbus and demonstrated his robust talents well last night. Joe Long is as strong of a drummer as can be found in the area. But, I gotta tell you folks - this Andy Carlson is so talented that it's almost scary. In one moment he'll bring you to tears with the sweet high notes out of his vintage violin, and then he'll bring you out of your seat with as good ol' rock n' roll as you are likely to hear.
The first "Thursday Evening Music at the MAC" of 2011 was by any standard of measurement a big success. The audience was ecstatic, the MAC was happy - and, the performers were happy. Can't beat that combo...
Palmer Moore - Organizer, Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club