Pop Magic with Sean Trischka and Friends
I was not surprised to see that Club Passim would host a CD release show for Sean Trischka’s debut album, The Shuffle. It was an ideal space for Trischka and his friends to perform in front of an audience that was filled with friends, fans, and a few folks who knew nothing about him or the venue.
Sean Trischka is a drummer, though he also plays some mandolin, who grew up in a house filled with bluegrass music. Not just any bluegrass. If his name sounds familiar it is because his father is Tony Trischka, the amazing banjo player.
Musical talent is obviously deeply engrained in the younger Trischka’s genes. The Shuffle contains mostly original music — as far as I know, the only cover is Nirvana’s “All Apologies” — in a mostly pop style. But this pop is unlike most of the pop music you’ll hear on the radio.
Trischka’s band includes Stash Wyslouch on guitar, Zach Tenorio-Miller on keyboard, and Nate Sabat on bass. Also sitting in with him on this night: Ellie Buckland and Isa Burke on vocals, Mairi Chaimbeul on harp, Dietrich Strause on trumpet, and Jenna Moynihan on fiddle and vocals. This show exemplified one of the many things I love about the music scene in Boston: at almost every show, there are musicians in the audience who are every bit as talented as the ones on stage, and sometimes they even get to play together.
In addition to the songs from the album, they played “Sweet Touch of Love” by Allen Toussaint, a Phish song, and a song from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Here is how they opened the set:
I enjoyed all the songs, but particularly “Bone Dried in Love” — every time I hear that song, I feel compelled to sing along. Or “Dark Windows.”
Toward the end of the show, a group of women showed how much they enjoyed the music by dancing at the side of the room. This is not a venue that is set up for dancing, so I was especially pleased to see the energy from the stage translated in that way.
Opening the night were Jenna Moynihan and Mairi Chaimbeul. I saw them perform with Trischka for another show where he performed the whole of Michael Jackson’s Thriller show (they were made up as zombies). It was nice to see them as they usually look.
Playing original songs as well as traditional Scottish songs on fiddle (Moynihan) and Scottish harp (Chaimbeul), their set was mellow but wonderful. Their harmonies wafted through the room and the audience soaked it up.