Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Act of Congress presides over evening show

Reviewed by Leigh Bratina for The Birmingham News

The Jane B Holmes Public library of Helena recently hosted the bluegrass band, Act of Congress at an evening waterfront presentation in Joe Tucker Park. The stringed quartet is made up of Bethany Borg (violin/vocals), Tim Carroll (bass/vocals), Chris Griffin (guitar/Dobro/vocals) and Adam Wright(mandolin/guitar/vocals). Act of Congress expands the boundaries of acoustic music with an original style, drawing their rich sound from variety of styles consisting of bluegrass, jazz, and rock. They give a nod to the now dissolved bluegrass group, Nickel Creek, for being the inspiration to the group. Many people were on hand to hear the band showcase it's original tunes, many of them written by Wright.The set list of the evening included about 8 tunes, all original, with the exception to a 80's through back tune, "Take on Me" made famous by the one hit wonder group, A-Ha. The group even breathed some new life into the song with a light bluegrass edge. The groups excitement, such as it is, comes from the layered instrumental textures and the measured movement into climaxes of their songs that are majestic with the nuances of the group's singing and playing. In these respects, the singles, "I Disagree" (written by Wright and sound man, Corey Nolen) and "Five Minutes of Fame" (written by Wright) are most impressive and are at quite opposite ends of the lyrical spectrum. The group is said to be working on a CD in hopes of a fall release.The group's musical blend comes from seasoned talents by their own rights.Adam Wright earned an honorable mention in the John Lennon songwriting competition, and that talent is evident in the lyrics of his songs. Bethany Borg is an exceptional fiddler. Borg is a state champion in six states and has been named in the nations top ten fiddler on two occasions. Her fiddle playing and vocals add a richness to the tunes played. Tim Carrol has played with the notable likes of the regional symphony as well as the Huntsville Symphony. Chris Griffin is involved in music at two local churches and also teaches guitar out of his home. Act of Congress also has a new relationship with Live Nation. They will be featured in the "VIP" areas at the Verizon Music Center at many large concert venues. You can also catch them playing in other music venues throughout the area. For more information on the group, you can visit their web site at http://www.myspace.com/actofcongress
5/5 stars

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