|Photo by Jeremy Johnson|
Music Review: The Vogts Sisters @ Root Coffeehouse, by Jeremy Johnson
"Coffeehouse concerts can give off an “open mic night” vibe–i.e., informal and amateurish, the sort of thing musicians and listeners try to avoid. Musicians have to battle with screaming espresso machines for the audience’s attention. Sometimes nobody shows up but the musicians. Occasionally there’s awful poetry. In short, they can be a sad ordeal. - None of this was present at Root Coffeehouse on Friday night when the Vogts Sisters (pronounced “votes”) took the stage."
"Their instrumentation is various combinations of acoustic guitar, violin, and mandolin. The style is unadorned and simple, but therein lies its power, as it acts as a base for their most prominent feature: the vocals."
"The sisters sing in well-matched soprano (Abigail) and alto (Maggie), and every song is marvelously harmonized and skyward-reaching. And with this framework, the sisters conjure images of haunting clarity."
"It’s this understated darkness lurking at the edges of the sisters’ work that lends it some of its greatest value. The temptation here might have been to use their lush voices to make everything goopy sickly sweet, all bright and glistening surfaces–there’s a lot of music in this style that does just that, all glitter and no substance–but they don’t take the bait."