Obscenely talented, that is. We had a fabulous time last night at the Justin Roth House Concert here in Barrett, the first in Todd & Dani Nelson's "Storytellers Live" house concert series at their log home on Thompson Lake. Wow, was that ever COOL.
For starters, house concerts are an incredibly intimate experience. Before the concert, we shared hors 'd' ouvres (sp?) and wine with many good friends also there for the concert, as well as Justin himself and Chris "Chipper" Ray, the opening act. Not often that you get to sip wine and chat up the headliner before the show.
Then we got started. After some neat songs by Mr. Ray, Justin took the stage and got jaws dropping immediately with his instrumental, "Fatima's Waltz." Justin plays a tap-and-fingerstyle guitar that is just sick - sick and wrong. NO ONE should sound that good on an unaccompanied instrumental piece.
Following this was a night of great songs, funny stories, a TON of audience interaction and a lot of fun. After a song about how parents discuss sex with kids before they're 'ready,' one that includes a lot of tongue-in-cheek references to rather risque behavior, someone told him there was a pastor in the audience. As usual, watching someone else blush was rather enjoyable, since I'm usually the one blushing.
Highlights included "She Dances," which made Kris and me think of our all-too-short dance class last spring, "Bagshot Row," an instrumental picture of Hobbiton whereupon Justin and I got to enjoy a little bit of Lord of the Rings geekdom together, and "Dead Horse Trampoline," which is even worse than it sounds ("giddee up boing boing, giddee up boing boing, gidde up boing" - I'm NOT kidding).
Good wine, good food, incredible music - what's not to like? We had a great night. I've added Justin's website to my music links on the right, but you can also find him here. I'm more and more convinced that the best music being made today is by independents like Justin, Peter Mayer, Storyhill and others at the small labels - who needs cosmetic surgery, airbrushing and a million-dollar video when you can sing & write?