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Chris “Critter” Eldridge and Julian Lage are, quite simply, two of the most important young guitarists performing today. While Critter is raising the bar in bluegrass with the Punch Brothers, Lage has been pushing the jazz guitar envelope, both with the New Gary Burton Quartet and on numerous solo and group projects.
The subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary, Julian Lage’s genre-defying style and collaborations with a firmament of artists like Mark O’Connor, Joshua Bell, Carlos Santana andFred Hersch have put him on the charts and earned him Grammy nominations and wide acclaim. “Don’t miss him,” said the San Francisco Chronicle. His frequent partner, Chris “Critter” Eldridge, founding member of Punch Brothers, is at home in a staggering variety of styles. The pair promises an evening of what they call a healthy mix of jazz, bluegrass and spontaneity as evidenced by their 2014 joint release, Avalon, produced by Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids.
Aoife O’Donovan’s sophomore album, “In the Magic Hour” — produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Neko Case) — is a 10-song album full of the singer’s honeyed vocals, mixed with gauzy, frictionless sounds: splashing cymbals, airy harmonies, and the leisurely baritone musings of an electric guitar. The New York Times writes: “Sweetness and sadness find a tenuous balance in the voice of Aoife O’Donovan — and in the songs on her second album…[it] evokes the reverberant chamber pop observations of Grizzly Bear… the lush austerity of Alison Krauss.”
Previously, she's wielded her instrument with tensile strength as the captivating lead singer through a myriad of collaborations: on the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” for a decade in the progressive string band Crooked Still and most recently as 1/3 of I’m With Her, a trio with singers Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. Aoife has also made regular appearances as a featured vocalist on A Prairie Home Companion and collaborated with some of the most eminent names in music, across a wide variety of genres from Alison Krauss to Dave Douglas.