Lincoln Center’s American Songbook : The Low Anthem

<img src="" alt=" " />There is something about The Low Anthem that continues to fascinate, and they played the Allen Room for Lincoln Center's 'American Songbook' series. ...

The Low Anthem at Lincoln Center's American Songbook

As diverse as music can be in New York, there is something about The Low Anthem that continues to fascinate.  Is it the orchestral pace of their music, which strolls through our ears as though we are audibly guided by hand, or the motley gathering of instruments alien yet familiar to our conventional sense of music?  There are many things to find that Jocie Adamsstill attention on this combination of ambient folk music and silent soulful words, but finding them at Lincoln Center’s ‘American Songbook’ series (QRO Festival Guide) situated in the equally unconventional Allen Room (QRO venue review) – an elevated performance hall allowing a spacious view of Columbus Circle and Central Park – seems that much more appropriate.  As traffic plodded through the snow and sludge of an urban winter on Thursday, January 13th, the band’s pace reflected with the motion of life outside: their songs quiet and reflective, and at other times sprightly and as full-paced as the wintry breezes that traveled in the neighboring park.
Ben Knox Miller & Jeff Prystowsky
Jocie Adams & Mat Davidson

Between their music, unique highlights included a guest performance by Ben Knox Miller’s brother Steve, who helped in the maintenance (cranking) of one of their more unique instruments: a church organ offered from a local fan/organ repairmanJeff Prystowsky and shipped all the way from Providence.   During a brief respite, Jocie Adams and two of her colleagues engaged in a three-man performance with woodwinds that quietly haunted the theater.

that's Steve on the crank

Most Ben Knox Millernoteworthy, however, was a piece that kept the audience guessing from the beginning of the show.  Warned by the Mat Davidsonannouncer to keep cell phones, “silent but not turned off,” a final performance at the end had the audience participate in a performance of “This God Damn House” with their phones pointed to each other, echoing a chirp that resonated throughout the hall with a litany of crickets and surprised expressions from the curious listeners among them.
The Low Anthem

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