Fridays in summer are days that amplify the entire spirit of the end of the week festivities. People near and far leave the office in hopes of seeking the gems that initiate the weekend. Probably the most successful event in NYC that helps in that regard is music. However, the music can often catch listeners by surprise. Early this past Friday evening, the husband and wife team of Oh, Jeremiah took things forward with their somber tunes at Rockwood Music Hall.
With the heat finally entering the city, the trek down south was a leisurely one for many Rockwood visitors. Luckily, the sun was just about setting, so the scorch was not as intense. The orange glare made wanderers smile and close their eyes as the night began. On Stage One, Jeremiah Stricklin & Erin Raber of Oh, Jeremiah were well on their way with harmonic folk-soul. Despite the unusually small crowd standing in a perfect ‘L’ along the windows and bar, the duo kept on. Mr. Stricklin handled his acoustic guitar with determined ease as Erin gracefully played her violin. Both musicians were in full swing with their instruments. All beats were provided by a drum machine in the middle of them both and was operated by Jeremiah himself. Somehow, that piece of technology worked for their sound.
Mr. Stricklin looked dapper with his green sport coat and his partner just as beautiful in her elegant black dress. While most of their music was deeply rooted in thoughtful and often sad messages, not all was glum. Jeremiah made sure to talk to the sparse audience and joke around as much as possible to alleviate the tension. For example, since the crowd hung back and remained in the ‘L’ position for most of the show, Jeremiah could not help but notice that all the guests were maintaining the ever-shy high school dance purgatory. Everyone remembered those days. Nobody moved forward or they rarely shifted their position. It was quite awkward, yet hilarious at the same time.
Their duet vocals and instrumentation provided a lovely Celtic-folk twang. When the vocals were silent, the pitter patter of the guitar strings and the cool blend of the violin was a perfect match. All the music was ideal for long days wandering the wilderness. In between each vocal the violin swooped right in with pure beauty. Jeremiah rarely opened his eyes as he sang his heart out. His music was important. With every pause of instrumentation, the full power of his lyrics were felt. He was always aching for something it seems in every song. It was something hard to place, but there was no denying that sophisticated emotion was pouring out.
A brief interlude came where Jeremiah mentioned their latest song, Sinking Ship, was featured on the Huffington Post, of which they played. Oh, Jeremiah’s music was different for a Friday night of eager anticipation. However, it opened the doors for relaxing and slowing down summer a bit. They made these early summer days linger. Eventually, they spiced things up with a flurry of musical activity at the end. It was a slow and unique walk that ended with a optimistic frustration or release of power. The emotion was prevalent in the stillness of the air as they finished up the evening. Their final song unleashed as much feeling as the two could muster. Perhaps someday they will blend in some blues with their music? Between the two of them, it would be a rare and special touch. Fans will have to wait and see.
Oh, Jeremiah is a duo that makes a lasting impression and keeps the listener interested. Whether they know it or not, many fans will think and ponder a bit easily thanks to Oh, Jeremiah. If there is a way to keep the summer from speeding ahead, their music is the perfect way to do it. Give them a listen!