There was some sublime tugging at both going on at the Lobero Theatre October 3rd.
Jerry Douglas is comfortable (way comfortable) playing many different styles of music and putting his own stamp on them with dazzling virtuosity and impeccable taste. This night he tugged the strings of his Dobro in a jazz vein backed by a stellar band featuring horns, violin, drum kit, electric guitar and upright bass. It was fusion music at its best.
Well into the first set, Jerry invited longtime musical collaborator Irish singer Maura O’Connell to the stage. I’ve seen Ms. O’Connell at the Lobero a few times, and from the first moment hearing her sing again there was a strong tugging at the old heartstrings, such is the magic of her soaring smokey alto. The songs she sings are designed to do that too, but she brings so much enthusiasm, humor and heart to the proceedings that the tales of heartbreak and betrayal become very beautiful and somehow uplifting. In fact, the performances by all on the stage that night were extremely uplifting!