This is what a prodigy looks and sounds like. Chris Thile and Michael Daves perform the bluegrass traditional Rabbit in the Log as good as anyone is performing any music, in any genre, anywhere on the planet – and I mean this pretty much without hyperbole. Their new album Sleep With One Eye Open is the professional debut of the duo and was recorded in a staggeringly short four days. Aside from the violent and breathtaking virtuosity of their instrumental performance, what I enjoy most about this video is the way that the duo interact on stage.
They are performing around a single microphone for both instrumental and vocal amplification and yet their balance is always spot on. This is allowed to happen because the musicians are watching and reading each other while performing. You can even see that their eyes are locked during the verses because they are watching each other place their diction in order to make their words as crisp and as clean as their harmonies. Their interactions on stage are more conversational than performance based because their preparedness to be there supercedes any technical musical demand. The nail in the coffin is of course the final chord. This gesture is both coy and hilarious because after the previous several minutes of voracious music making the artists are in control enough to pull way back on the reins and place the final gesture with a smile.
I tend to get obsessive when Chris Thile presents a new project, and his new work with the enviable Michael Daves is no exception. The interwebs is currently saturated with surfacing videos of the new duo and this means that I am currently losing my mind watching it all and cheering at my computer screen. You should be too. Enjoy.