Barnaby Bright at Toad in Cambridge

Let me start off by describing the music of Barnaby Bright in as few words as I possibly can:







Yeah.  Transcendent is the word I’m going to go with for this review.  Becky and Nathan Bliss captivated the crowd at Toad on Sunday, July 15.  I’ve been to Toad numerous times.  It’s a very small and narrow drinking establishment located in Cambridge’s Porter Square neighborhood.  No cover.  Lots of noisy patrons having a good time and occasionally paying attention to those on stage.  Stage?  Well, yes, it’s a bit of a stage. Oftentimes the musicians have to stand in the passageway to the bathrooms out back.

Barnaby Bright. Transcendent for sure.

But on this night in Cambridge the proverbial pin could have dropped and you would have heard it resonate throughout the room.  A hush went over the crowd by the middle of the first song.  I grinned and smiled widely because I knew at that moment that it would be a good night and that the audience would be giving Barnaby Bright the respect that they so deserve.

Becky’s vocals are killer. She can belt it out like the best of them but she can also sing ever so softly and make your heart melt on the spot.

I’ve been a fan of  Barnaby Bright for a couple of years and haven’t had the chance to see them live very often so this was a special treat.  A nice long set and a quiet audience.   Becky’s lush vocals and graceful harmonium playing coupled with Nathan’s impeccable guitar gymnastics, banjo picking, and strong, impassioned singing were transcendent.  Believe me.

Nathan is a multi-instrumentalist and in his previous musical life, he was a saxophone player. The sax didn’t make an appearance at Toad but he made some great music on the guitar, banjo, and harmonica.

Here’s a video of Becky and Nathan playing their amazing song “Gravity” while in the Netherlands.
And how about this version of “Reverend’s Son”?  A whole different side of this talented couple!

Barnaby Bright will be appearing at the me&thee on Friday, September 21 along with Erin McKeown.

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