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Date this web site was last edited:  12/06/2015

 

 

 

 

Review

Bill Dutcher & Jim Volk Knock 'em Dead at 2Co's

5/9/02

Recently I discovered the perfect place in Columbus, Ohio to host "up close and personal" guitar concerts: 2Co's, 790 North High Street.  It has a quaint dinner theater like atmosphere with seating for no more than 100, yet ample staff providing light food and beverages - and, best of all - NO SMOKING.  It's Lilliputian size, and absence of a bar, "flies" and ash trays promotes the "listening" to the artists that perform.  Absent also were those night owls that are out to just show off their latest outfit, brag (lie) about their latest stock transaction, or just simply trying to get laid with their deep resonate voices - all at the expense of my listening pleasure.  An extremely pleasant venue.

Last night it was utilized to it's max as Bill Dutcher and Jim Volk took to the stage and entertained the near capacity crowd with their energetic, yet differing styles of modern acoustic guitar - and, songs - and, personalities.  Both are accomplished guitarists that play in non-standard tunings and heavily incorporate "effect processors" in their performances - particularly digital delays that they use to record and playback rhythm and accompaniment tracks to jam along with later on in their tunes.  Yet, they have completely different personalities and on stage demeanors that break up the evening quite nicely - and, actually provides the fire for the culmination of their talents when they join up and jam together at the end.  

Bill Dutcher is a stand up, classy, well dressed, well spoken, coke drinking, straight forward performer that looks like the "boy next door" that all dads would have loved to have had their daughters bring home to introduce them to.  He basically play originals influenced by his modern acoustic heroes with some very nice residuals from his classical/rock background - and, a little country from Jerry Reed (which pleases this writer to no end.)  He has a lot of talent and likes to utilize a wide array of acoustic guitars in his act:  a standard 6 string, a 12 string, a vintage Hawaiian lap (top), and his proud new possession - a harp guitar.  Not usually being a "big fan" of 12 string guitars, I was amazed at how proficient he was at running single note lines off up and down the neck, and the great sound he got out of that instrument.

Jim Volk is another story, folks.  He is a complex combination of extreme talent, showmanship, and a "sometimes" repressive mental state.  He comes up on stage (beer in hand) dressed and quaffed somewhere between a heavy metal lead guitarist and a punk rocker (black clad muscle shirt and spiked hair.)  His mike presence consists of nervous semi-coherent ramblings of very funny pre-tune stories (between sips on his ever present beer) and slams against a society that doesn't pay lowly guitar players particularly well  - "portraying" an image (mostly "act" - I'm sure) that is definitely not a candidate for me to take home to meet my daughter.  However, my friends, when he does decide to stifle the chatter and pay attention to his most "jubilant" guitar (it is a beauty) - he methodically and most purposefully becomes one of the best entertainers in Columbus, today.  

Every tune he plays is a wild roller coaster ride for the listener as he initially "educates" his effects "ensemble" ("rack" would have been a major understatement) with mild chops and rhythms, then adding more and more excitement and jamming licks each pass - until he crescendos the endings at a fever pitch.  The audience "grows" (goes) wild with each tune....  (And, underneath all the effects and whoopla - he's a brilliant guitarist, too.)

Anybody that left early (which weren't many) missed the best part when Bill and Bill jammed one together.  Bill surprised Jim by asking him to play a tune Jim had worked up while he was living in Texas called ""That Train Thang." Because it was Jim's tune and he usually plays it all alone - he was initially a "little" worried where Bill was gonna fit in. But, after the first couple of passes at it - he realized that not only was Bill gonna be all over it - he was bringing a whole new dimension to it - and, they then fed off each other bringing themselves and the audience to a fever pitch and to their feet in wild applause...  Absolutely wild, and wonderful. 

A great evening of guitar music.  You other folks can go to the Ohio Theater and watch "past their prime" national stars perform overly amplified 150 yards away.  I'll be in that little room at 2Co's waiting for these two guys to come back...

Palmer Moore - Organizer
Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club