Friday, December 11, 2015

The Ludlow Thieves at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall

Danny Musengo, Bruno Esrubilsky & Laura Martin
New York-based guitarist Dan Teicher recorded a few original songs but was disappointed with his own vocals. He sought someone with a unique voice. He met Danny Musengo, who had relocated from Guttenberg, Iowa. Musengo had recently been the sole survivor of an automobile accident that claimed seven lives, and was seeking peace and purpose through music. After trial and error, the Ludlow Thieves by 2012 became a sextet featuring Teicher, Musengo, co-vocalist Laura Martin, violinist Amanda Lo, keyboardist Isamu McGregor, and drummer Bruno Esrubilsky. The Ludlow Thieves' third EP, Sing Me Back, will become available on December 18.

Although the band has no record contract or major distribution, the Ludlow Thieves has been headlining local venues, including the Marlin Room at Webster Hall tonight. Drawing from alt-folk, pop and a dash of gospel, the Ludlow Thieves opened a window to a fresh breeze of sunny sounds. Musengo often sang extended notes like Marty Balin, and with Martin singing along, the dual counterpoints recalled Jefferson Airplane. Teicher's jangly guitar work gave gravity to the structures and Lo's chamber violin ignited an earthy chime to many songs. Perhaps the Ludlow Thieves' cover of the Who's "Baba O'Reilly" was a nod to classic rock influences, but Teicher's songs and the Musengo-Martin vocal delivery impressively towered over any need for resonating tunes of the past. The Ludlow Thieves is an experiment in progress, but tonight's performance proved that the band's diverse components are very close to merging into a unified heartland heartbeat.

Visit the Ludlow Thieves at www.theludlowthieves.com.