If you were lucky enough to catch Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth when they graced Boston with their amazing stage presence at Brighton Music Hall on Thursday, February 1st for the “American Folk on Tour” show you witnessed a duo perfectly in sync with each other, and with the political climate we live in today. The two storytellers in song currently star in the new movie, American Folk, and are crisscrossing the country in support of the film’s beautiful soundtrack, which is a collection of classic folk songs and original compositions by Purdy and Rubarth.
Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth are no strangers to the folk music landscape, both musicians have created some of the finest songs this writer has ever had the pleasure of listening to, and both have stood on many a stage singing music about hardship, love, loss, family, and the wonder of life lived at it’s fullest. Watching and hearing them together as they bring the sounds of the film they created it was easy to see the friendship and respect both talented artists have for each other. Bringing their style and sound together to showcase the music of the movie has focused a lot of attention on the duo as of late. With each stop of the tour those who attend, because they know either Purdy’s or Rubarth’s solo albums, are treated to an experience they won’t soon forget.
As soundtrack albums go, American Folk, is the actual sound of the movie. The songs appear in the film like characters with scripts, each one creating the scene itself, not just providing background music. Folk music is the sound of the country and it tells stories of the people who occupy every winding road, every lonesome street, every town forgotten by time, everyone who makes the country great. Purdy and Rubarth take that idea and unpack it onstage together with guitars, harmonies, and laughter; adding layers of depth to the folk staples we know and love while staying true to each song’s emotional core. The duo, backed by their amazing bassist, played almost every song from the soundtrack and threw in some great covers including Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” and Peter, Paul and Mary’s “500 Miles.”
The main takeaway from a Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth show is that you leave the venue wanting to do good by your fellow man. The musician’s masterfully pointed out with lyrics and chords that despite our appearances we are all the same. We have the same dream and hopes for a better life for ourselves and our children, we all want love and happiness, and in order to find that peace you must first find acceptance in yourself.
Oh, and of course listen to more music. Music makes everything better!
Check out the images our very own Steve Benoit of Boston Concert Photography took of the evening below and be sure to catch Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth when they are in your town.