Vespers Concert reviewed Phantom TollboothThe Vespers performed unplugged in concert at the Old Stone Church in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey...completely 100% unplugged.

Unplugged has somehow come to mean a bit less electric these days. But when the Vespers played at the Old Stone Church in Upper Saddle River New Jersey on October 7, it was unplugged all  the way as in 100% acoustic. And the setting was perfect in a church that was built in 1819, when 100% acoustic was all there was.

Vespers Concert reviewed Phantom TollboothThe Vespers consist of two sibling pairs. The vocals are handled primarily by Phoebe and Callie Cryar and their harmonies are like those only sisters can deliver. Bruno and Taylor Jones added to the family themed proceedings with expertise on multiple instruments and additional vocals.

The first thing that strikes you about the Vespers' music is that it is honest. Honest in every sense. There is nothing contrived or commercial about it. This makes a  totally acoustic setting a perfect way to present their music. They normally do add some amplification for their concerts and their records are a synthesis of  American musical styles with some old timey feel thrown in. But they can sure do that acoustic thing.
Rebecca Abma concert Phantom TollboothThe concert at the Old Stone Church was opened by Rebecca Abma, a talented local singer songwriter who also leads acoustic worship services at the church.  She beautifully performed a set that included original songs, hymns, and the Sara Groves song "When The Saints ."

The Vespers set consisted of all original music, mostly from their most recent The Fourth Wall record with some selections from their first release Tell Your Mama. They come with an "an arsenal of acoustic instruments" and frequently switched and exchanged them making it hard at times to keep track of who was playing what. That was, they joked, so if someone said the guitar player was horrible it would be hard to remember just who that was. But there would be no need to do that as their musicianship is excellent.

The songs ranged from "the serious to the not so serious" because, as Callie remarked, "you can't be serious or not so serious Vespers Concert concert reviewed Phantom Tollboothall the time." While all of the songs performed that afternoon were excellent,  "Better Now", "Eyes Wide Open", and  "An Instrument for You" were and are truly exceptional works. And exceptional songwriting is what puts this band on a different level. Great songwriting that feeds the soul. They are singing about the gospel as it is part of their lives. This is music that not only touches you with its art but also with the warmth of the message.

Vespers Concert reviewed Phantom TollboothIt is well worth checking out both records by the Vespers, The Fourth Wall and Tell Your Mama.You can connect with the Vespers and purchase music directly at: Their music is also available at the usual web music sites.

Find out about Rebecca Abma at her Facebook page;
To get more information about Unplugged Worship and Concerts at the Old Stone Church in Upper Saddle River NJ go here:

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