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The Windham Ballroom | 40 The Square | Bellows Falls
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lyle Brewer To Appear At The Windham Ballroom
Boston Guitarist Performs Sunday May 7
At only 31 years old, Lyle Brewer is as accomplished as many musicians twice his age. Revered in his adopted home town of Boston as one of the most sought after guitarists for both studio and live work, Mr. Brewer has released several albums of his own, the most recent of which, Juno, was chosen Best Local Album by the Boston Globe in 2015. He performs at the Windham Ballroom at Popolo on Sunday, May 7.
His music is entirely instrumental but in a unique way says more than pages of careful lyrics. As versatile a player as he is a stylist, Mr. Brewer’s talent reaches across the genres from blues to country to jazz. In fact, he studied jazz performance at The New England Conservatory of Music but it would be an error to call him a jazz guitarist. He counts among his influences guitarists as varied as Joe Pass, Duane Allman, and John Scofield.
“Lyle can play anything,” remarks veteran songwriter and exemplary player, Peter Mulvey, “so the question with him is ‘what, then, will I play?’” Mulvey says he loves how fearlessly Mr. Brewer chooses to play what’s simple and pretty but continues, “of course he also shreds with the best of them.”
By the age of 21 Mr. Brewer was a guest on Prairie Home Companion and he’s gone on to teach at Berklee College of Music. His private lessons are in high demand. And he keeps his touring to a minimum to work on composing, teaching, and caring for his young son.
The Boston Globe calls his songs “thoughtful, artfully composed instrumentals,” and Vintage Guitar magazine noted of his most recent recordings that “Brewer’s streak of winners continues.” His writing features a fine-tuned economy both in what is written and how it is played. Though his technical abilities are awe-inspiring he’s anything but a show off. This sort of maturity and humility enables an intimacy with his audience that is not often seen in other performers of his stature and evokes wonder from listeners of all ages.
Mr. Brewer’s versatility leads to him being known in many ways; Bellows Falls entrepreneur, Josh Hearne, notes that Mr. Brewer might be best known as guitarist for area favorite, singer-songwriter, Ryan Montbleau. In a feature on Mr. Brewer, USA Today noted his centrality in the Boston music scene is “as integral to it as Harvard Square is to Cambridge.”
A multi-instrumentalist who picked up the guitar late, Mr. Brewer recently started a scholarship in his mother’s name to help young aspiring guitarists take lessons with his old guitar teacher.
“I just have to play,” Brewer said in a 2015 interview with the Boston Globe, “It’s hard to talk about this stuff without coming off as corny or pretentious, but it’s freedom. It’s being able to express yourself, to become a different person.”
Currently in preparation for his recording of compositions by J.S. Bach and funded by the Passim Iguana Grant, Mr. Brewer has made time for a few shows, among them this rare solo performance in Bellows Falls at the Windham Ballroom.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door if still available. Doors are at 7:00pm for a 7:30pm show. Tickets are available at popolomeanspeople.com and dinner reservations if desired in Popolo’s adjacent dining room should be made for 5:00 through 5:15 by phoning the restaurant at 802-460-7676.
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There are all sorts of reasons we go out to see music. Sometimes we want to get in touch with our folksy singalong roots or feel the visceral thump of our collective hearts on the dancefloor. Maybe we want to hear a storyteller. Some people like to hold their drinks in the air and make that sound that crazy people make after they’ve been holding their drinks in the air. Sometimes people like a soundtrack with which to meet other people who are better left alone. And often we like to have noise in the background so we can make stupid smalltalk and other people won’t hear how stupid our smalltalk is. Lots of reasons. Good reasons.
Another reason is to be transported to a place only good notes can take us where words are more or less superfluous but somehow where we get in touch with the sublime. Of course there are many paths to the sublime and we won’t slice the cheese too thinly here. It might be my age but sublime is what I go for most often; not the type of sublime you might hear while holding your drinks in the air and making that sound. I mean something more subtle. Something that stops me in my tracks and makes me regard with wonder what is being done. I’m not talking about gazing from a mountain peak upon a verdant landscape. Or waiting for the green flash over an endless Pacific. I could be talking about that but I’m not. I’m talking about stuff people do. Amazing stuff. Stuff that makes me remember what grace is.
Lyle Brewer plays the guitar. His set is instrumental and every note has a purpose. There’s an economy of everything in evidence in what he does. One might make a better life by learning from Mr. Brewer how not to waste anything, not even a note. He’s a guitarist of the highest standard and though you may not yet have heard of him, if you were paying attention to subtle things, you may have. He ain’t no stick in the mud. He’s a versatile musician and is in demand for live and studio work, as well, with luminaries from Ryan Montbleau to Sara Borges and Session Americana. Here’s a little video about Mr. Brewer’s last record.
He studied jazz performance at the New England Conservatory but it would be incorrect to say he’s a jazz musician. As one of the most esteemed guitarists in the Boston area (I’d say “in America” but I wouldn’t want to prove it) Mr. Brewer has taught guitar at Berklee College of Music and in 2015 he released two albums of music: one called Juno and one called simply, Lyle Brewer. They’re albums that just make sense and in a world that by the minute seems to make less and less sense a dose of sense is good for everyone. Especially on a Sunday evening.
At just 31 years old he’s more accomplished than guitarists twice his age. Currently, he’s making an album of music by J.S. Bach, specifically the E Major Partita and the G Major Cello Suite on a 1967 Gibson ES 125 Electric guitar funded by the Passim Iguana Grant. It’s not yet clear what his program will be for the show on May 7 but I can guarantee it will be awe-inspiring. Here’s a little video of Mr. Brewer’s song Wish I Could See You Again
Mr. Brewer proves the value of subtle genius and is a quiet advocate for the heroism of the guitar. If you want to see him do it live – and it’s a sort of magic that should be seen live – you should make time on a Sunday evening, May 7, and come to the Windham Ballroom for a 7:30 show. Hope to see you there.
Tickets are $18 on the Popolo website and $20 on the day of the show. Seating is limited so please please buy your tickets early. If you’re having dinner beforehand we recommend a 5:00- 5:45 reservation which you can make by phoning the restaurant during business hours.
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