It's axiomatic that listening to even a talented performer sing the same five songs for three days straight is enough to drive a craft festival vendor to distraction. This weekend, while exhibiting at the Sugarloaf Craft Festival in Chantilly VA, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ongoing concert presented by Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Matt Miskie kept me energized and actively listening to the wide songbook of folk favorites he offered. It even got me dancing, which made me less wistful for the music-rich life I enjoy -- and dance to -- in Sarasota.
With a melodic voice that seamlessly blends elements of Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and Gordon Lightfoot, Miskie's arrangements of familiar songs from the Sixties and more contemporary numbers had depth, variety and richness of tone and phrasing.
His rhythm guitar playing, inflected with simple intro runs, nicely backed up the vocals. Rhythm alone, without lead breaks, can be boring and repetitive, especially at solo gigs, but Miskie's technique somehow worked to support the overall sound.