The Jasper County Concert Association did it again! The organization — and Allied Concerts of Minneapolis — provided a performance that was outstanding. The Guthrie Brothers of Green Bay, Wis., presented “Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience.”
The two brothers — really brothers — Jeb and Jock, survived the only glitch of the evening when the sound system did not work at first. They humorously called that five-second delay “an inauspicious beginning.” It wasn’t. The rest of the evening was perfect.
Jeb and Jock have been singing together for a long time. They were probably just kids, if they existed at all, when Shenandoah, Iowa’s own Everley Brothers hit the pop music scene. The Everleys inspired the Guthries to include a cover of their hit, “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” which they sang in honor of Auditorium Committee Chair Mel Wilson as they told the audience the general history of the Simon and Garfunkel duo, whom the Everleys also inspired.
Simon and Garfunkel grew up, figuratively at least, during the social revolution of the 1960s. They heard early rock and roll and then became a part of the folk music revival. By this time, they had refined their harmony, and (Paul, primarily) had written lyrics that had meaning, that did not merely enhance the beat, as in early rock.
The Guthrie Brothers, in their Simon and Garfunkel Experience, sang in harmony like that of S & G a catalogue of tunes that those who adored/endured (take your pick) the Sixties and early Seventies suddenly realized they were familiar with. The audience resisted, often unsuccessfully, the temptation to sing along to “The Sound of Silence,” “Homeward Bound,” “Cecilia,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Bridge over Troubled Water,” and eleven other numbers. One of the Brothers’ songs was an original, written about their father’s philosophy.
A highlight of the evening was the audience participation during “59th Street Bridge Song,” probably better-known as “Feelin’ Groovy.” Learning the lyrics took all of two seconds, but 80% of the audience already knew them. What a song fest!
March 1 was a wonderful evening, worth the price of the entire season (one of the best bargains in town). Thanks to the Guthrie Brothers and their “Simon and Garfunkel Experience,” the audience listened, laughed, learned and sang along. They left the Center for Performance feeling groovy. If you had been there, you, too, could have been —“Ba-da-da-da-da, feelin’ groovy.”