Went to a couple of live acts in the past couple of weeks to replenish my ears. Two very different gigs and acts: the Brazil Guitar Duo and then Kat Edmonson. As part of the excellent Austin Chamber Music Festival this past month, The Brazil Duo played an interesting mix of classical and traditional/modern Brazilian music and are among the most fluid interplaying pair of guitarists I have witnessed in a long time (never did get to see Pass and Ellis!). The venue was a fairly large modern church and the pair played without amplification of any kind that I could discern, creating an airy but very localized soundstage which allowed you to hear each line distinctly. I'd swear I watched one of them miss the timing at one point and glance over at the other who smiled and reacted instantly to keep the groove going.
Kat's band played the back porch at Central Market (yes, even some supermarkets in Austin have live music) and it was hot, outdoors, and amplified. That said, she and the musicians created an intimate environment that allowed them all to shine. Kat's voice is distinct yet familiar - sort of Peyroux meets Holliday in places but she has the same voice when she speaks so it's no affectation. I was impressed enough with her treatment of some standards and not-so-standard tunes, including a wonderfully slowed down version of John Lennon's Starting Over, to buy her CD on the spot and it is recommended. I spoke briefly with her during the break and she is pleasant, down to earth, and easy on the eyes :)