Saturday, September 20, 2008

Time for Three - NPR Song of the Day

I first saw Time for Three in DC a few years ago at Dumbarton Oaks. It was my first time at the venue, and it was hard to not just sit and stare at the elaborately painted ceiling and gorgeous tapestries. It was a small crowd, and my friend Margaret and I were probably the youngest there by about two decades - until the performers came in.

Violinists Zachary DePue and Nicolas Kendall and bassist Ranaan Meyer stood casually in front of the large fireplace. The lights were dim, and so cast the faces of the performers in shadow. Kendall was a bouncing ball of energy, keeping up a light patter in between songs, while DuPue stood more quietly, hands still on his instrument. Meyer drew my attention time and time again, looking like a lanky, looming vulture as he draped over his bass, his whole body drawing the music from the lumbering instrument.

They have so much fun when they play, it is impossible not to get drawn in. Renditions of classical favorites (especially the Bach Double concerto) were favorites, though their version of Shenandoah made my eyes mist. They approach a blend of bluegrass and jazz with a classical sense of control and thoughtfulness, making me wish I had discovered something like this when I was in school.

I was so excited to see a few weeks ago that they would be releasing a new single every month through their website. "Philly Phunk" was the first - you can listen to it and read my essay over at NPR's Song of the Day.

I highly recommend their album, We Just Burned This For You. Recorded live in 2006, you get a sense both of their stage presence and wonderful banter.

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