Concert Review

Caught on camera: A bluegrass surprise at a corporate dinner

I’m a photography intern at Advanced Energy, and this past Tuesday night was our annual Board of Directors dinner. It was a beautiful event held at NC State’s Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center on Centennial Campus. The dining room looked like it could also be used as a ballroom or even to inaugurate the next president. There were sparkling chandeliers, most likely bigger than the average car, ceiling-high windows, and an elegant fireplace.

Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous to be the 20-year-old intern who has been with the company for less than a month, and I would be mingling with expensive men and honored guests, among them a member of our state senate. I did that female thing—you know, with the skirt and the make-up and the cute shoes—I put on my best adult-pleasing smile, and I walked in with my Van Gogh umbrella and awkward camera bag.

After I got over my adolescent fear of adults, creeped on the guests with my 200mm zoom lens, and ate some delicious carrot cake, the night turned out to be quite enjoyable, and much less scary than my dramatic imagination anticipated. But the real treat at the end of the evening was the beautiful bluegrass music from the Durham duo, The Jaybirds

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Made up of Jamie, the male singer and acoustic guitar player, and Susie, female singer and fiddle/electric bass player, their soulful yet upbeat melodies wonderfully filled the enormous hall and immediately had me enchanted. While many of the adults continued with their small talk, I was completely enamored, and I knew I had to spread the word about their incredible talent. For us they played bluegrass and covered the oldie but goodie, “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, but they said they also played rock and blues if the crowd so demanded. If you’re an Americana fan, think of the beautiful harmonies of the Small Ponds mixed with the cajun flavor of Langhorne Slim with the delicate soul of Meklit Hadero. If you don’t believe me, check out their Myspace page, or visit them on Facebook, even like them! They only have two demos to listen to, but those two songs are more than enough to showcase their raw talent and rare synchronicity.

Photography taken by WKNC photographer Katie Hill