Two very creative souls are singer / guitarist Meredith Axelrod and guitarist Craig Ventresco — wonderful elliptical individualists who energetically and sweetly reinvent the larger musics (the plural is intentional) of nearly-forgotten times. I’ve known and admired them for nearly a decade now, but was often slightly frustrated because they send out extraordinary music that has to battle with conversation. I know this is a fact of playing and singing in this century, but I was involved in a little house party that featured Meredith and Craig. And there were friends making music, too: Leon Oakley, cornet; Robert Young, saxophone; Ari Munkres, string bass. I asked this group if they would perform a few tunes just for you — the JAZZ LIVES audience. They did, and here are three delicious unbuttoned but precise offerings:
NEW ORLEANS HOP SCOP BLUES:
I’M GOING TO MEET MY SWEETIE NOW:
I wish there were some way to hear Meredith and Craig with a small cast of strolling players on a regular basis, and several ideas come to mind.
If this music appeals to you, contact Meredith at her whimsical email address, firstname.lastname@example.org and she will respond promptly. They love the idea of coming to your home and making merry.
Or you can check her website to see videos of the two of them in performance, to learn their current schedule, to have deep metaphysical queries answered — perhaps with more queries, but that’s metaphysics. Here is Meredith’s website, a very educational experience.
If you live near North Beach in San Francisco, in Berkeley, or Oakland, you have a good chance to see these two — and friends — on a regular basis. But I hear the New Yorkers whimpering, “What about US?”
Good news. Meredith and Craig will be making a brief but intense New York tour in less than two weeks, and on Saturday, September 27, they will be appearing at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn — along with Dennis Lichtman, Matt Munisteri, and Tamar Korn — for a 9 – 11:30 PM show. Buy tickets here. Jalopy is at 315 Columbia Street, and their many-splendored website is here.
East or West, Meredith and Craig and their exalted friends make refreshing music.
May your happiness increase!