Montana Skies: Live from the Mable Barnes Amphitheatre (DVD/CD)
Montana Skies are a husband and wife duo who play classical music infused with their own unique style. The band calls their style 'classical fusion' which makes perfect sense after listening to the music. Jennifer Adams (cello, six string electric cello) and Jonathan Adams (classical, steel string guitars) are excellent musicians and produce a full bodied sound that at times is hard to believe there are only two instruments being played. Both musicians use amplified acoustic instruments along with loops which adds a greater depth to their sound. Recorded live near Atlanta, GA, this is their first live DVD/CD and the audience was appreciative of the performance.
Ms. Adams really caught my attention with her animated personality on stage, particularly when using her smaller portable cello. She is an absolute virtuoso on the instrument, able to shred with the best of them or play beautiful melodies with smooth transitions between both styles effortlessly. Jonathan Adams also plays with tremendous skill, providing crystal clear notes as light as a feather or ultra speedy riffs like in the melodic "Sunburst" where Ms. Adams uses the cello more like a bass, giving the song a bottom end as if a bass guitar was a part of the band.
Other highlights include a wonderful version of "Classical Gas" where they manage to slip in a snippet of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and a ripping adaptation of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" where blistering cello meets that classic guitar riff. Rock fans may also be interested in the album's second medley combining intriguing versions of songs by The Police, The Beatles and Kansas. "Dust in the Wind" is particularly suited to Montana Skies' unique blend of classical and rock.
Also included in the package is a short concert sampler and an interview that gives good insight behind their music. The CD contains the same tracks as the DVD and is a nice bonus.
The layers of sound Montana Skies creates is truly impressive and although I am predominantly a rock fan, it is easy to appreciate what this eclectic duo has accomplished. While this will undoubtedly serve fans of classical music well, open minded music fans may be in for a surprise. Check out the samples and decide for yourself.
2. Gringo Flamenco
4. Classical Gas
5. Another Brick in the Wall
6. Canyon Breeze
7. Medley: Montana Skies/Sonata in E Minor/Eleanor Rigby
8. El Gitano
9. Medley: Message in a Bottle/Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds/Dust in the Wind
13. House of the Rising Sun
14. The Edge of Night
Same track listing as the DVD
Added: August 25th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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