On a chilly February night in Cambridge, Massachusetts we packed ourselves in tight at The Sinclair to fill our souls to the brim with the warm and comforting sounds created by a handful of the most talented musicians to ever share a stage. Bonny Light Horseman and Erin Rae guided a sold-out crowd through a musical collection of songs that made us all forget the outside world for an all too brief moment. I don’t think I have ever seen a group of such talented musicians being so comfortable with each other onstage and creating beautiful harmonies that were on a whole different level.
Let’s dig into the evening a bit to try and describe the beauty of it all in words. First up was Nashville’s Erin Rae. Armed with only a guitar she quickly got to work setting up the night with songs primarily focused on her brilliant album, “Putting On Airs,” which was released in 2018. It’s usually hard to quite a Boston-area crowd on any given night but Rae’s storytelling and quick wit calmed the audience to a point where you could hear a pin drop. It did not go unnoticed from the stage, and even without a set-list she put together a collection of tunes that had us enraptured from start to finish.
Next up was the powerhouse of musicianship known as Bonny Light Horseman. The trio is made up of Anaïs Mitchell (Tony award winning musician and playwright), Eric D. Johnson (Fruitbats), and Josh Kaufman (Crag Finn, Josh Ritter, The National, Hiss Golden Messenger). Backed with an amazing rhythm section the band got the evening started with the extraordinary song, “10,000 Miles,” the album’s final track. The moment Eric stepped to the mic with Anaïs to sing the song’s chorus “And the seas they will burn/The sun, it will dry up the ocean/If I never return, my love” it was legit waterworks throughout the audience… myself included. Just a minute into the first song and they had us wrapped up in emotion and wrapped around their harmonies. They played every song from their debut and sprinkled in a couple of gorgeous covers including, “Green Green Rocky Road,” from the “Mayor of MacDougal Street” Dave Van Ronk and “Go Your Way,” by English folk singer Anne Briggs. Towards the end of the set the group asked Erin to join them on stage to sing her song, “Bad Mind,” and watching them interact with each other it was if they had been playing together for years… seamless and stunning.
Do yourself a favor live music lover and make sure you see these bands live if they happen to swing on through your city one day. Although the tour officially ended at The Sinclair February 11th Bonny Light Horseman will be at the Green River Festival in Massachusetts this July, as well as the Railbird Festival in Kentucky this August. Erin will be supporting Brent Cobb this April and was just announced for this year’s Newport Folk Festival.
Check out the terrific photos taken by our very own Steve Benoit of Boston Concert Photo of an evening well spent!