Concert review: Pete Seeger tribute night (3/30/2014)

Last night I went to the Pete Seeger tribute night (which was also a benefit concert for Clearwater) at Passim in Cambridge. I hope everyone who reads my blog is already familiar with Seeger’s work – he was incredibly influential in the realm of music and political activism. Just about every story I hear about him makes me respect him just a little bit more. If you’re not familiar with him, do yourself a favor and look into his incredible legacy, which spans from WWII to the Occupy movement.

I bought a ticket to the tribute concert on a whim before they’d posted any performer’s names, so the whole concert was pretty much a mystery to me. It ended up consisting of eight acts that I’d never heard of before: Laura Cortese, Billy Wylder, Alastair Moock, Scott Alarik, Ryan Alvanos, Catie Curtis, Audrey Ryan, and Lloyd Thayer. I really and truly had no idea what to expect other than a vague assumption that it would be folky and involve Pete Seeger’s music. In the end I was very pleasantly surprised at the high quality of music across the board.

The first two acts turned out to be my favorites of the night: Laura Cortese and Billy Wylder. Laura started us off with a beautiful Seeger singalong (“This Little Light of Mine,” if I’m remembering correctly) and then performed one of her own songs, “Heel to Toe,” which was a pop-bluegrass number. She is a talented performer with a really lovely voice, and started off the night on a very positive note. Here’s a video of her performing “Heel to Toe”:

Billy Wylder (a band, not a person) was the second act, and they were (more…)