The Abrams Brothers, hailed as “the best bluegrass band ever produced in Canada” (The Guelph Record), will bring an exciting performance of revved-up original and traditional bluegrass favorites to the Payson High School Auditorium Wednesday, Oct. 17.
The Abrams Brothers, veteran performers barely out of high school, John, James, and cousin Elijah have been touring for nearly a decade with as many credits to their name. The group became the youngest Canadians to ever perform on the Grand Ole Opry in 2005, and in 2006 became recipients of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin as recognition of their youth and achievement.
They have also become festival favorites across Canada and even overseas where they toured through Europe in 2006 and performed at the 2007 and 2008 Jacob’s Ladder Folk Festival in Israel.
The group recently released its fourth album entitled “Northern Redemption” on the United for Opportunity label; working with producer Chris Brown (The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Tony Scherr, Ani DiFranco, The Barenaked Ladies) to transition from the music of their roots to their own distinct sound. Earlier recordings include a tribute album of songs by Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan — “Blue on Brown” (2009, United for Opportunity), “Iron Sharpens Iron” (2007) and “Carrying On” (2004).
“[The Abrams] are an immensely wonderful and talented family and so steeped in many traditions of music,” said Chris Brown, Canadian musician, singer, songwriter and producer, who produced the group’s “Blue on Brown” album. “It is just so apparent in their work, but also just so full of life and energy that everything inhabits the present tense with them. It’s like they bring tradition to the table all the time, but it’s really living and beautified.”
The Abrams Brothers are fourth-generation musicians and have musical roots reaching back to their great-grandparents. Musical collaborations spanning generations in the Abrams family, be it at hometown performances, in the recording studio or on tour, are practically a family tradition.
John and James, who started playing at the ages of 9 and 6, respectively, and Elijah demonstrate mastery over their instruments (John on guitar, mandolin and violin, James on violin and viola, and Elijah on upright bass) and vocal chords, sounding like well-rounded, fully developed veteran musicians.
Even Arlo Guthrie, the legend himself, recognized the talent of these youngsters after he first heard them playing his own songs at one of his shows and thought they were “way too young to be playing that good.”
“I know I will be hearing from The Abrams Brothers for a long time to come,” he said. “Maybe we’ll run into each other again somewhere along the road. That would be good.”
Doors for the Oct. 17 concert open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. performance. Single tickets are $35 as available. Children and youth under the age of 18 will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticket holding adult. For more information visit the association Web site at www.tccarim.org or call (928) 478-4363 or (928) 474-4189.
The Tonto Community Concert Association is committed to bringing quality entertainment to the Rim Country through an annual concert series and support of the fine arts in Payson schools.
This series is intended as an enriching cultural experience for the people of Payson and those in surrounding communities.