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Jarosz brings the cheer

Sinclair Cambridge, Cambridge, Mass., June 28, 2016

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Sarah Jarosz justifiably was in good spirits. After all, she just released her brand new "Undercurrent" disc about 10 days prior. And she was coming home in a way as she went to college in the Boston area. Plus, she packed the club in a near sell-out gig.

The good cheer extended to her music as well in a varied, change-it-up set that covered a lot of bases. The Texas native wasn't particularly easy to pigeonhole musically. Matter of fact, not at all given that she played bluegrass, country, singer/songwriter and jazzy songs.

But don't think of Jarosz as some sort of dilettante who tries to see what might stick. The fact of the matter was that Jarosz demonstrated an ease and comfort with whatever the style. She has grown more and more confident as a vocalist over the course of her four albums, which may not be a surprise given that she released her debut when she was only 18.

Her voice is pretty with enough drive or restraint, depending on the need. That same approach extended to the music as well with a few songs swelling to sound bigger and grander.

Jarosz played a variety of instruments ranging from banjo and mandolin to even electric guitar for the closing lone encore song, "Jacqueline," which she offered solo.

Backing her otherwise was the ultra-fine guitarist Jedd Hughes, who continually provided the right touch whether on acoustic or electric. That's no surprise because Hughes always seems to hit the right notes with whomever he has played. He also was a good vocal match for Jarosz with his backing harmonies. Upright bassist Jeff Picker provided jazzy tones at times, making for a strong group of musicians.

Jarosz shared a pleasant, low-key stage demeanor. Friendly, appreciative, enjoying herself, but not a big personality. That presence extended to not gloating that "Undercurrent" went to number one on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart.

Yup, Jarosz had lots of reasons to be satisfied where things are going right now for her. Add this evening's performance to the list.

The Brother Brothers opened in a set that was far better than their name. They really are brothers as David and Adam Moss are twins, in fact. But this is a new venture for them at the ripe young age of 33. They play acoustic and acoustic respectively with David handling the lead singing.

Consider the Everly Brothers a reference point with Adam providing the backing harmonies. They certainly sounded like one of those brothers acts and paid homage to the Delmore Brothers by covering their "Goodbye Booze."

While the name is silly, the brothers Moss also showed a sense of humor in some of their lyrics. By the end of their stint, they received a deserved good hand.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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